Volocopter is the most advanced company in launching its flying taxi service globally, with agreements signed in Singapore and Dubai. Most recently, they signed an agreement with Japan Airlines (JAL) to jointly develop Urban Air Mobility services in Japan – for passenger transport and logistics – within three years.
As part of the agreement, Volocopter and JAL will set up the commercial operation of air taxis in Japan and will enter into local partnerships over the next three years. Addressing Japanese cities together is a core objective of the cooperation.
Volocopter intends to bring its electrically powered air taxis of the type “VoloCity” and the heavy-duty drones “VoloDrone” onto the market in the next two to three years. In October 2019, Volocopter successfully conducted a piloted flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay and is currently working to obtain commercial certification of the VoloCity from EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).
JAL has also announced that it will partner with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting, who are all invested in Volocopter, to accelerate Volocopter’s entry into the Japanese market. In February 2020, the Japan Airlines Innovation Fund invested in Volocopter as part of the Series C financing round.
JAL’s decades of experience in the commercial aviation industry will be used to ensure that the services to be launched in the future are safe. In addition to offering environmentally friendly short-distance flying taxi services because it uses electric power, JAL also wants to use it to offer medical assistance to remote areas and to conduct studies on the social acceptance of air taxi and heavy-duty drone services in the city. This will probably use the previously announced VoloDrone.