Lilium and new U.K. partner Volare Aviation anticipate high demand for passenger transport in the U.K.’s premium aviation market. The two plan to begin delivering aircraft for the market soon after the Lilium Pioneer Edition Jet is certified, aimed for late 2025.
The aircraft will be operated from Oxford by eVolare, a new Volare Aviation subsidiary, with the deal including a firm commitment and a 50% pre-delivery deposit for 10 Lilium Pioneer Edition Jets. eVolare will have the option to purchase an additional 10 of the four-passenger aircraft.
“It appeals to our existing customer base of jet or helicopter owners, and it also appeals to a new market who are looking to move into private aviation but have been waiting for a more sustainable solution,” said Nick Isbister, Volare director of sales, about the company’s interest in the Lilium eVTOL.
With the aircraft expected to enter service within the next three years, Isbister said the companies are currently creating an infrastructure plan and addressing the subsequent requirements to ensure that all corners of the U.K. and Ireland are accessible in time for the jet to launch in market.
“The potential of these aircraft is endless,” Isbister said. “Due to its greatly reduced noise pollution, it is far more accessible than a helicopter, so we envision that it will become part of daily travel for its owners — from home to office and all means of U.K.-based travel.”
Volare has been exploring the eVTOL market for some time, Isbister added, looking for the right partner. He said the company chose Lilium because the jet “is not only pioneering in terms of the technology, but it also looks the part. It has a sleek design that has the comfort of a jet and the convenience of a helicopter. The Lilium Jet seamlessly integrates with our existing stock, without looking out of place.”
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Isbister stressed that eVolare views the eVTOL market as the future. “If you do not progress, you stagnate — as a business we always aim to be disruptive and forward thinking to ensure the future of this industry and our place within it,” he said.
A spokesperson for Lilium said the company expects to receive initial type certification in 2025, with Lilium pursuing dual certification with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) adopting the same certification standards used by EASA, validation in the U.K. will follow.
“For aircraft sales and launch operations, we are addressing in a first phase the premium general and business aviation markets, including charter operators, fractional ownership, and private individuals,” the spokesperson added.
Lilium expects to benefit from eVolare’s expertise of the U.K. aviation network, including the premium segment, the spokesperson noted, adding that “eVolare’s experience serving customers with business jet and helicopter operations is a great fit with our commercial first phase — getting the premium segment to adopt our aircraft while preparing the entire ecosystem for larger operations across the U.K. market.”
The British company “is also perfectly positioned to provide safe and reliable operation of Lilium’s aircraft from Oxford, running a maintenance service center and investing in landing infrastructure for Lilium’s U.K. network.”
The Lilium spokesperson noted that London is one of the main hubs for business aviation in Europe, with demand for sustainable regional air mobility particularly high. While the partnership is focused on the premium market, the spokesperson said the jet is versatile, so in the medium to long term, “we expect to expand into other segments of the market and anticipate Lilium Jets being used for a wide range of services.”