The Embraer spinoff Eve Urban Air Mobility has announced a partnership with Falko Regional Aircraft that includes a potential order of up to 200 of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft.
The eVTOL developer announced yesterday that it has signed a letter of intent with the commercial regional aircraft leasing company. Along with the potential eVTOL orders, the partnership will allow Eve to tap into Falko’s existing operators to develop a global network of eVTOL operators.
Eve and Falko plan to establish a working group to develop initial urban air mobility (UAM) routes where Eve’s aircraft can be deployed. Each Falko operator that will use Eve’s aircraft will also use the company’s air traffic management software, service capabilities, and fleet operations services.
Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve, said in a press release that he believes the partnership “not only widens our potential operator base through Falko’s global customer footprint but increases our ability to provide full stack solutions through partnerships.”
Eve’s partnership with Falko was cemented by its connection to Embraer — having graduated from EmbraerX, the Brazilian aerospace company’s subsidiary dedicated to creating “disruptive innovations,” such as eVTOL aircraft and UAM. Falko has been working with Embraer since 2014, and chose Eve as its UAM partner because of Embraer’s more than five decades of experience in certifying aircraft.
Eve has forged a fair number of partnerships over the last year, preparing the company to launch its UAM network in various regions by 2026. This includes securing conditional orders for eVTOL aircraft from Avantto, Bristow, Azorra, Republic Airways, and Skywest, among others.
Last month, the eVTOL developer announced its plans to go public through a merger with Zanite Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — a business combination that has been in the works at least since early June 2021.
If Zanite shareholders approve the merger, the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year and could provide the eVTOL developer with $512 million in net cash, funded through a combination of Zanite’s $237 million cash held in trust and $305 million in total private investment in public equity (PIPE), in which Falko is also contributing toward.
Eve previously said it plans to use those proceeds to further develop and commercialize its UAM ecosystem. However, assuming Eve sees significant shareholder redemptions similar to previous eVTOL SPAC deals, the company could see much lower gross proceeds after the deal is finalized.
“We are very excited by our strategic partnership with Eve, which forms part of our drive to be at the forefront of the greening of the aviation sector,” said Jeremy Barnes, CEO of Falko, in a press release. “We firmly believe in the prospects of the eVTOL market and that Eve, with the support of Embraer’s experience in the manufacturing, certification, and support of aircraft, will be a market leader.”