Flying Taxi Company Expands into China; Electric Jet Service Coming

The electric jet company recently announced a partnership with other suppliers in China, with flights expected in 2024

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

November 27, 2023

5 Min Read
Lilium's electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jet in the sky

The developer of an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jet is partnering with a Chinese offshore helicopter company to provide regular eVTOL services in the area.

Lilium and Citic Offshore Helicopter Company (COHC) signed a memorandum of understanding for the two companies to collaborate to establish an electric aerial vehicle (EAV) operation network in China, starting with the Greater Bay Area.

Additional future services are planned for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hainan Island, and Tianjin.

“The partnership highlights the shared aspirations of COHC and Lilium to create a sustainable and efficient aerial transportation system that addresses the growing demand for premium regional mobility solutions,” said Klaus Roewe, CEO of Lilium. “China is expected to account for close to 25% of the eVTOL market and this announcement reaffirms our commitment to the region and desire to bring fast and sustainable travel to more people and to offer outstanding flight experiences for our customers.”

Lilium recently announced a partnership with other suppliers in China, including Heli-Eastern and the Bao’an District of Shenzhen municipality.

“We’re looking forward to working with Lilium to build an eVTOL network in the Greater Bay Area and beyond,” stated COHC, China’s sole helicopter port pilotage provider, in the announcement. “It’s important for our customers to be able to travel quickly, sustainably and in premium comfort, and with Lilium, we’re excited to do just that.”

Lilium also recently announced that ArcosJet DMCC plans to purchase 10 of its electric jets and become the exclusive dealer for its private jets in the Mideast.

Deliveries of the EAVs are expected to start in 2026 with the jets delivered to customers with a maintenance program, pilot training and two charging stations.

Lilium also has signed an agreement with Denso for technical assistance in optimizing production of the Lilium jet electric engine.

Denso specializes in powertrain electrification and plans to support Lilium in developing equipment and tooling for automation for high-volume production of jet engines and subsystems.

Lilium and Michelin recently partnered for the design, serial production and support of tires for the Lilium EAV.

The two companies started working together more than a year ago to develop and produce custom tires for the electric jet.

Lilium recently started assembly of its electric propulsion system on a path to manned flights in 2024.

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

The company intends for its seven-seater vehicles to be used as a regional air mobility service, connecting cities and towns 25 to 125 miles apart at speeds of up to 185 mph.

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


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 upon entry into service in 2024.

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.

Lilium recently secured $192 million in financing in addition to a coming public offering. It received funding from different investors including board members and Tencent Holdings, one of its initial backers.

The company, founded in 2015, has manufacturing facilities in Munich, Germany, with teams in the U.S. and Europe.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued Lilium a certificate validation of its Jet, having previously obtained airworthiness authority from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

Lilium is among a small number of companies seeking certification of its EAVs for both the U.S. and Europe. 

The company is not alone in the race for new air transportation services, including flying cars, personal air vehicles, both ultralights, which do not require a pilot license, and certified, which require a license.

One eVTOL company, Joby Aviation, recently announced the planned building of a facility in Dayton, Ohio, to deliver up to 500 eVTOL vehicles a year.

The new manufacturing facility is the foundation for a planned aerial ride-sharing network. 

Joby has partnerships with Uber and Delta Air Lines. 

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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.

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