Turkish aviation group Gözen Holding, the owner of Freebird Airlines, has committed to ordering up to 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Irish lessor Avolon. 

As part of the deal, Avolon and Gözen Holding have agreed to “commercialize eVTOL travel” and develop an urban air mobility (UAM) platform in Turkey. Both companies will collaborate to identify potential market opportunities, infrastructure, and certification requirements for UAM. 

“As an integral part of the Turkish aviation industry, we feel it is incumbent upon us to be at the forefront of the sustainability movement and that is why we identified Avolon, and Vertical’s VX4, as the zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft that will revolutionize air travel,” Mekin Gözen, CEO of Gözen Holding, announced in a statement. 

According to Gözen Holding, with 15 million people living in Istanbul, Turkey’s capital is consistently congested, which hinders “development and attractiveness as a tourist and business location” for both cities. Gözen added that he believed deployment of VX4 eVTOL aircraft “will dramatically reshape Istanbul and the rest of Turkey”. 

Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, commented: “We are delighted that Turkey has been added to the global destinations where the VX4 will fly. We look forward to welcoming Gözen into the Vertical family and continue to celebrate our growing partnership with Avolon." 

It is anticipated that Vertical’s VX4 eVTOL aircraft will accommodate a maximum of four passengers. The VX4 eVTOL will have a maximum range of 160 kilometers and a top speed of 325 kilometers per hour. 

In June 2021, Irish lessor Avolon ordered 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace, valued at US$2 billion.