International aircraft leasing company Avolon has announced a partnership with Brazilian airline Gol and transport operator Grupo Comporte for the commercialization of an eVTOL ridesharing platform in Brazil.
The agreement includes a commitment from Gol and Grupo Comporte for the purchase or lease of up to 250 VA-X4 aircraft, Vertical Aerospace’s piloted, fully electric air taxi capable of carrying up to four passengers. As one of the British eVTOL maker’s principal launch partners, Avolon pre-ordered 500 of the model in June.
Avolon CEO Dómhnal Slattery described the agreement as representing “a significant step in building an eVTOL ridesharing platform that will reshape the commercial aviation market in Brazil,” adding that “the opportunities to deploy the VA-X4 are enormous.”
“Gol and Grupo Comporte both bring broad and diverse networks, along with proven track records in scaling multiple businesses, making them the ideal strategic partners for Avolon,” Slattery said.
He added: “This latest agreement underlines Avolon’s ability to fast track the commercialization of the VA-X4 globally. In less than three months since becoming a launch partner for the aircraft, we have already placed over half of our initial aircraft order, demonstrating the significant appetite we are seeing from the world’s airlines for the VA-X4.”
In addition to pursuing what Avolon says will be one of the world’s first eVTOL ridesharing businesses, Avolon, Gol, and Grupo Comporte will collaborate to identify and target local partners, infrastructure, and certification requirements across a range of commercial models.
Vertical CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick characterized the agreement as “bringing [a] revolution in air travel to Brazil,” adding that zero-emissions aircraft like the VA-X4 will transform travel in dense urban environments like the São Paulo metropolitan area, which has a population of over 22 million.
Gol isn’t the only Brazilian airline moving into eVTOL ridesharing: Last month, Azul announced a strategic alliance with Lilium including a conditional pre-order for up to 220 eVTOL Lilium Jets. Meanwhile, the Embraer spinoff Eve Urban Air Mobility has a pre-order for up to 50 of its electric air taxis from the helicopter operator Helisul Aviation, which also plans to deploy them in Brazil.