The eVTOL developer Jaunt Air Mobility has entered into an agreement to merge with the AIRO Group, the companies announced this week at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jaunt will join six other businesses in AIRO’s portfolio: the drone companies AIRO Drone and Sky-Watch, aviation and special missions training providers Agile Defense and Coastal Defense, avionics manufacturer Aspen Avionics, and fellow eVTOL developer VRCO.
“Together, Jaunt and the other AIRO Group companies offer a transformational, next-generation capability for the aerospace industry that addresses high-growth markets in advanced air mobility as well as leveraging technologies across markets that benefit the general, business, commercial, and the military aviation community,” AIRO Group CEO Joe Burns stated in a press release about the deal.
“Additionally, we have the resources, experience, and inherent knowledge to help streamline regulatory compliance and certification among all segments,” he added.
Earlier this year, Jaunt announced plans to open design and manufacturing operations in Quebec, Canada, as well as new partnerships with CAE and Crane Aerospace & Electronics. According to Eric Côté, president of Jaunt Air Mobility Canada, “Jaunt’s business commitment remains unchanged along with our relationship to the Canadian government and to our Tier 1 suppliers and customers.”
AIRO revealed in March that it had engaged Stephens Inc. to explore a possible business combination agreement with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). While several eVTOL developers successfully began public trading via SPAC mergers this year, investors’ enthusiasm for SPACs has declined significantly since the craze peaked in the first months of 2021.
Nevertheless, AIRO executives indicated that the group still intends to go public. “AIRO is poised to be the leading publicly traded mid-tier aerospace and defense company after the void created by acquisitions in the public marketplace,” stated Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, the group’s executive chairman.
“Jaunt is pleased to become part of the AIRO Group,” said Jaunt CEO Martin Peryea. “The combined companies address many segments of the advanced aviation market and will pursue a public offering.”
Jaunt is working toward transport category certification of its Journey eVTOL aircraft by 2026.