Delta Joins American Airlines and United Airlines in Investment in eVTOL
Yesterday, on the 11 October 2022, Delta announced their $60 million investment in Joby Aviation. This makes Delta Airlines the latest airline to invest in an electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company.
Existing airline – eVTOL partnerships include American Airlines and Vertical Aerospace, United Airlines and Eve Air Mobility and Archer Aviation. For more details on United’s $10 million investment in Archer Aviation read here.
Joby Aviation is a California based aviation company building quiet, all-electric aircrafts. Created in 2009, the company has grown from a team of seven engineers to over 1,000 engineers, experts, and leaders. Joby has collaborated with NASA in 2012, worked with Toyota in 2019, and partnered with Uber, becoming the first eVTOL company to achieve airworthiness approval from the US Air Force in December 2020.
Delta has made an upfront equity investment of $60 million in Joby, with the opportunity to expand the total investment up to $200 million. The partnership aims to offer Delta customers a seamless booking, simplified transit, and overall smoother passenger experience.
Discussing the partnership, Ed Bastian Delta CEO said:
“Delta always looks forward and embraces opportunities to lead the future, and we’ve found in Joby a partner that shares our pioneering spirit and commitment to delivering innovative, seamless experiences that are better for our customers, their journeys, and our world.”
Joby Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt echoed this:
“We share Delta’s unwavering commitment to delivering seamless and sustainable journeys to customers. Their history of innovation, along with their vast operational expertise and leadership of climate change, make them incredible partners for Joby, and it’s an honour to be working alongside them.”
Delta intends to incorporate an eVTOL “home-to-airport” transportation service to and from airports starting in New York and Los Angeles. Incorporating Joby into Delta’s existing flight booking process, customers will be able to book their transport to the airport in a Joby aircraft at of booking their main flight. To highlight the benefits of this service to customer experience, Bevirt teased that an eVTOL flight from a local New York vertiport to the airport could be as quick as ten minutes.
eVTOLs offer a quieter, faster, and greener transport option. They provide a unique solution to the issue of congestion around airports. Standing out for their quietness and minimal environmental impact, eVTOLs could help to reduce both sound and carbon pollution, making them ideal for densely packed cities.
Article by Jess Brownlow