Air Taxi Company Plans for French Riviera Operations

Lilium, UrbanV and Aeroports de la Cote d’Azur plan to bring Lilium electric jet flight to the South of France starting in 2026

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

May 29, 2024

4 Min Read
A Lilium jet flies over the French Riviera

German electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jet maker Lilium is teaming with a vertiport operator and an airport management company to create a vertiport network for electric aerial vehicles (EAV) in the French Riviera.

Lilium, UrbanV and Aeroports de la Cote d’Azur plan to bring Lilium electric jet flight to the South of France starting in 2026. 

The plan is to create a network to connect the French Riviera with destinations including Monaco, Nice, Cannes, Golfe de Saint-Tropez, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

“As a truly European company based in Munich, Germany, with flight testing in Spain and with nascent roots in France, Lilium is extremely proud to be able to assist in the creation of the first regional eVTOL network in the South of France and the first commercially viable network in the EU,” said Sebastien Borel, chief commercial officer of Lilium. “We see an enormous potential in this region and cannot wait to see our Lilium Jet fly there soon.”

The partners plan to establish and operate eVTOL vehicles within a network of vertiports including Nice Côte d’Azur airport, the second-largest airport in France, with Cannes Mandelieu Airport and Golfe de Saint-Tropez Airport.

Lilium recently announced it is establishing an advanced test facility at the Lilium headquarters in Munich. It plans to house a fully integrated EAV to be used for testing of avionics, flight controls, propulsion and electrical power systems. 

Related:Air Taxi Company Starts Advanced Testing Facility

The Lilium electric jet is not yet ready for delivery, with the first flight tests with a pilot planned for later this year. Vehicle construction started last year, and the testing facility is expected to be operational this summer.

The 26,000-square-foot test facility, designed by Segula Technologies, would be used to simulate flights and verify performance, according to the company.

Due diligence was recently started for a loan guarantee of at least $108 million by the German government.

KfW bank in Frankfurt was commissioned by the Federal Government of Germany and the Free State of Bavaria to conduct the review.

Lilium also said it is in advanced discussions to create high-volume production facilities in France, with talks with the French government involving potential subsidies and loan guarantees, with future investment reaching up to $430 million.

Lilium already was considering sites in France including in Nouvelle Aquitaine, noted for aerospace and battery production facilities. 

Lilium said it has an order pipeline for 780 flying vehicles.

Related:Flying Taxi Company Lands 20-Unit Order for US Operations

Lilium recently received an order for 20 of its flying vehicles from UrbanLink, which plans to operate the EAVs in South Florida for trips to Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, with service starting in 2026.

The EAV maker also is teaming with jet and helicopter operator PhilJets to establish advanced air mobility (AAM) services in the Philippines and other Southeast Asia countries.

Lilium and PhilJets plan to jointly develop routes and determine passenger demand for an on-demand eVTOL service in the region. That deal included the sale of 10 Lilium jets to PhilJets.

LuftCar, the Florida developer of a hydrogen-powered eVTOL, also is expanding into the Philippines through a recent partnership with eFrancisco Motor Corporation (eFMC) to develop and deploy the LuftCar flying car system in the Philippines.

The hydrogen-powered air vehicle would connect to and lift road vehicles created by eFMC, a major jeepney manufacturer.

The Lilium eVTOL craft is a jet, unlike most EAVs.

The seven-seater vehicles are planned as a regional air mobility service, connecting cities and towns up to 125 miles apart at speeds of up to 185 mph.

The flying vehicle features forward canards (small wings near the front) along with main wings and a distributed propulsion system with fixed landing gear without hydraulics.

Related:Flying Taxi Company Partners for Service in Philippines; Electric Jets

During takeoff, the plane would use its 36 electric ducted fans to hover for up to 25 seconds and 20 seconds during the landing phase, according to the company. Most of the flight time would be in the cruise stage with a relatively short takeoff and landing time.

The company estimates the range of the craft at 150 miles.

Lilium has teamed with the Lufthansa Group to explore opportunities in aviation including ground and flight operations, EAV maintenance and flight training in Europe.

Founded in 2015, Lilium has manufacturing facilities in Munich with teams in the U.S. and Europe with the European market expected to account for more than 9,000 vehicles through 2035.

The fuselage for the Lilium jet was developed by Aciturri in Spain, with delivery to Lilium facilities in Germany. Aciturri, also a Lilium investor, has designed and manufactured airframe components for Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.

Like what you've read? For more stories like this on flying cars and other emerging technologies, sign up for our free daily email newsletter to stay updated!

Read more about:

Flying Cars

About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

Sign Up for the Newsletter
The most up-to-date news and insights into the latest emerging technologies ... delivered right to your inbox!

You May Also Like