EHang is partnering with the hotel and tourism company LN Holdings to launch an eVTOL sightseeing service at the LN Garden Hotel in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.
Under a strategic partnership agreement confirmed in a signing ceremony on May 9, EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) will be used for a pilot program at the LN Garden Hotel, making the luxury property the world’s first urban air mobility (UAM) theme hotel, the companies claim.
According to a press release, the program “will promote the innovative integration of aerial sightseeing, traveler transportation, air logistics, aerial media light shows, intelligent exhibitions, and education. It will also promote the new experience of air tourism and explore other commercial use cases for EHang AAVs.”
The collaboration will also complement EHang’s existing agreement with the Guangzhou government to develop Guangzhou as its first UAM pilot city. Under that agreement, announced in August 2019, EHang is working with the city to establish the basic infrastructure necessary to support urban air mobility, and to design associated safety rules and market entry thresholds.
“We are excited to establish a comprehensive and long-term strategic partnership with LN Holdings,” stated EHang founder and CEO Hu Huazhi. “Helping to build Guangzhou into a global air mobility pilot city is a milestone for us, and further promotes the commercialization of the UAM ecosystem.”
“By leveraging our controlling shareholder LN Group’s ability to integrate its resources in consumer sector, cooperating with EHang could generate incremental products and services,” added LN Holdings chairman Liang Lingfeng, noting that the company’s resources span travel, conventions, exhibitions, and scenic attractions as well as brand hotels.
EHang’s so-called “passenger-grade” AAVs are not yet certified for commercial passenger-carrying operations, although the company has conducted numerous demonstration flights with people on board. In conjunction with the signing ceremony on May 9, eight journalists took rides over the LN Garden Hotel on an EHang 216.
EHang is also pursuing aerial tourism opportunities beyond Guangzhou. Last month, the company announced plans to to construct an “E-port” to support commercial air tour operations in Hezhou city, Guangxi province.