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Tue, 02/20/2024 - 08:45
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German firm eyes PH as takeoff point for 'flying cars' in ASEAN

FLYING CARS. German air mobility firm Lilium is partnering with PhilJets to bring all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets to the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. The two companies will be signing an agreement at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday (Feb. 20, 2024) at the Changi Exhibition Centre. (Photo courtesy of Lilium)

MANILA – German air mobility firm Lilium is mulling to establish in the Philippines its first Southeast Asia operation network for its all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jets.

Lilium and local aviation services company PhilJets will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday afternoon for a strategic collaboration to bring eVTOL, or the "flying cars", to the Philippines and other parts of the ASEAN.

"Our strategic partnership with PhilJets will expand our footprint even further in Asia, bringing the Lilium Jet to Southeast Asia. The Philippines is well-suited for eVTOLs to effectively connect thousands of islands together through sustainable and high-speed air mobility," Lilium chief commercial officer Sebastien Borel said.

Borel added that next to the Philippines, Lilium is targeting to bring in the "flying cars" to Cambodia.

Under the MOU, PhilJets is eyeing to buy an initial 10 Lilium jets.

“Our team is proud to collaborate with Lilium on the mission to transform the Philippines' mobility with eVTOLs. With its growing economy, geography and important tourism industry, the Philippines is a great match to the Lilium Jet's capabilities," PhilJets chairman Thierry Tea said.

Tea added that this initiative to bring in eVTOLs to the country aimed to cut its carbon footprint even with its growing business.

"Innovation in aviation is gaining traction among regulators, urban planners and industry leaders of worldwide economies. Providing efficient connectivity to customers while reducing carbon emissions is a major focus for air transport operators such as PhilJets," he said.

Aside from making the Philippines as Lilium’s takeoff point in Southeast Asia for eVTOLs, the companies will partner to develop a future service, including the joint definition of routes, city pairs, and passenger demand for an on-demand eVTOL service in the region.

They will also identify potential sites, requirements, and partners for landing infrastructure, including the identification of vertiport partners in the region, sharing vertiport specifications, and access to Lilium’s existing network of charging hardware providers.

The Philippines is participating in the 2024 Singapore Airshow from Feb. 20 to 25 at the Changi Exhibition Centre, debuting its own pavilion in one of the world's premier exhibitions for the aviation industry.

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Asian Business Aviation Association, and Berthaphil Clark are sponsoring the Philippines’ aviation pavilion, carrying the theme “One PH Aviation: Together We Fly”. (PNA)