Airbus and Italian flag carrier ITA Airways have entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development of urban air mobility (UAM) in Italy.
Airbus said in a statement that the agreement is a joint approach toward local mobility stakeholders in order to “onboard additional partners for the sustainable launch of operations with the CityAirbus NextGen electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL), currently in development”.
CityAirbus NextGen is a full electric vehicle equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its uniquely designed distributed propulsion system. It is designed to carry up to four passengers, including a pilot, in zero-emission flights for multiple applications.
Both Airbus and ITA Airways also agree to identify pilot cases with the goal of securing public acceptance of UAM by demonstrating the added value that it can bring to communities.
“The partnership between ITA Airways and Airbus started with the evolution toward more modern, more comfortable and environmentally-friendly commercial aircraft, equipped with cutting-edge technologies”, Chairman of ITA Airways Alfredo Altavilla said in a statement.
“With this agreement, our partnership expands to the segment of urban air mobility for a wider, customer-centric, innovative and sustainable offer for our customers,” Altavilla added.
Meanwhile, Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, said: “This agreement is testimony to the strong relationship between Airbus and ITA Airways. It is an opportunity to leverage our shared ambition – pioneering sustainable aerospace – and advance new air mobility solutions for zero-emission vertical flight in support of our cities and communities later this decade.”