Luxaviation Group and Lilium: ‘You cannot copy and paste … business aviation’
There will be several merits to partnerships between business aviation companies and advanced air mobility ones, Christophe Lapierre, head of strategy, Luxaviation Group, told Corporate Jet Investor, after news of the company’s partnership with Lilium emerged this week. Not only will it help de-risk flight operations, but also make it smoother for operational partners to run their fleets.
“You cannot copy and paste what is being done today in business aviation. It is the ability that we have developed to unbundle all the operations – training, dispatch, airworthiness and maintenance – in different departments. This is how we can support building the full journey for the eVTOLs entering the new market,” said Lapierre.
Luxaviation’s experience with its “FBO network was a very strong point to support a full new ecosystem” in collaboration with German eVTOL manufacturer Lilium.
However, it will leverage its entire portfolio – including the helicopter networks and other luxury products – to the deployment of the eVTOL network.
He said that Luxaviation’s experience with its on-demand helicopter network would prepare it for eVTOL operations. “Helicopters are the VTOLs of today, so we always make the link between these and eVTOLs. We have gathered significant expertise flying these, as well as the clientele that today fly on these platforms.”
Lapierre added: “We want to be better and stronger in the core activities and get them ready for the new adjacent segment.”
In the lead up to Lilium’s commercial launch in 2024, Luxaviation will help with certificating its seven-seater Lilium Jet as well as arrange for operation processes. These will include training the pilots, flight planning and digital interface, according to Lapierre.
Electric aviation is part of a larger sustainability strategy for Luxaviation, said Lapierre. “We see a lot of adjacencies between business aviation and advanced air mobility models.”
SPACs and private placement
Lapierre said the company was very agnostic with regards to funding options to help growing its presence worldwide. “We are considering whether it [SPACs] makes sense for our plans or whether we can consider private placement for the next steps for the company.”
In Lapierre’s opinion, the strength of the team to see the broader applications of their project, as well as the capability to raise funding will determine the success of eVTOL manufacturers.
“There are a lot of projects out there which are interesting. It’s an amazing time to see so many new ideas, innovative projects and designs.”
Luxaviation is monitoring a group of 20 top manufacturers. “Entrepreneurship is very strong in the history and DNA of the company.”
Remo Gerber, chief operating officer at Lilium, said: “This marks a key milestone as we prepare for launch, and we look forward to working together to provide an exceptional airline service for our passengers.”