EHang said it has received its largest pre-order for its EH216 eVTOL aircraft in Japan. The Chinese-based company announced yesterday that it has partnered with AirX, a helicopter flight booking platform. The deal includes a pre-order of 50 units of the two-seat EH216 aircraft.
AirX books helicopter flights for more than 100 sightseeing routes, as well as private helicopter charters. The company said it has served more 15,000 chartered flight customers, currently booking more than 2,000 helicopter sightseeing flights, and more than 200 chartered flights every year. AirX plans to add the EH216 to its network in Japan, and hopes to have the aircraft available for air tax services at the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan.
“The low-altitude transportation and tourism market has great potential and broad prospects,” said Tezuka Kiwamu, founder and CEO of AirX, in a press release. “By leveraging the advantages of autonomous flight technologies and centralized management, the EH216 AAVs [autonomous aerial vehicles] can provide customers with cost-effective aerial sightseeing services, which is why AirX selected EHang as a partner in the global eVTOL market.”
The pre-order comes just a month after EHang announced a partnership to further extend its reach in Japan. In December, the eVTOL developer said it secured its first order for its VT-30 aircraft, as well as conducted EH216 demonstration flights in Fukushima and Okayama, Japan, with the support of the Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero and Space Industry Cluster Study Group (MASC).
“Our partnership with AirX marks a key milestone for us to further explore and develop the UAM market in Japan,” said Huazhi Hu, founder, chair, and CEO of EHang. “We are very delighted to see an increasing number of air transportation partners are introducing EHang’s safe, autonomous, and sustainable urban air mobility solutions to the general public.”
EHang is continuing to pursue type certification for its EH216 with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), with executives reporting last month that it expects to receive certification “in the next few months.”