Eastern Expansion: Lilium Strikes A Series Of eVTOL Jet Deals In China

EF Global VTOL

28 Jun 2023


Lilium continues its rise in the urban air mobility (UAM) market. The German company has been going from strength to strength since it was formed in 2015, signing agreements with the likes of NetJets, Azul, Honeywell, Expliseat, Livent, Aernnova, ABB, Bristow, and Ferrovial over the years. Now, we can expect the Lilium Jet to have a robust presence across Asian networks.

Greater Bay network

Looking to shake up the high-speed eVTOL space. Lilium has signed two major deals with Greater Bay outfits. The first is an agreement with Heli-Eastern that could see the firm order up to 100 Lilium Jets. Heli-Eastern is an influential low-altitude general aviation carrier that provides helicopter services in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. It will work with Lilium to develop eVTOL services across the region.

Heli-Eastern will conduct operations with Lilium Jets and offer maintenance and crewing work. With several major metropolises in the Greater Bay Area, eVTOLs are a natural fit for city commuters or those looking for a speedy way to get to the airport.

A USP of Lilium is its jet. eVTOLs are usually seen as an evolution of the helicopter. However, Lilium’s product will carry people with vertical takeoff and landing and travel with jet technology.

Lilium CEO Klaus Roewe shared the following about the deal with Heli-Eastern in a statement:

“We are excited about Lilium’s expansion into China with such well-established local partners like Heli-Eastern. We see significant potential for Lilium’s eVTOL network in the Greater Bay Area, both to reach this important premium market, as well as to offer the sustainable, time-saving benefits of the Lilium Jet to as many people as possible.”

The right partners

Optimizing new opportunities, Lilium is partnering with the Bao'an District of Shenzhen municipality for eVTOL service in China. The goal is to start sustainable eVTOL operations in China and the broader Asia-Pacific region by launching in the Greater Bay Area.

The move will see Lilium base a regional headquarters in Bao’an District this year to support with sales, services, and assistance in the area. There is substantial potential for Lilium in the Greater Bay Area amid its population of over 86 million people. The region is a sensible launching pad for the company.

Photo: Lilium

Roewe added the following about the potential to be had with the partnership:

“China represents an enormous opportunity for the eVTOL industry we believe, projecting to amount to as much as 25% of the market. We are thrilled to be entering China with such a strong partner – the Bao’an District. Fast, comfortable, and sustainable transport will strongly contribute to the region’s development. We are grateful for the commitment and engagement the Bao’an District is offering.”

Plenty to be excited about

Lilium Jets will offer a maximum range of 250+ km (155+ miles) with reserves and a cruising altitude of 3,000 m (10,000 ft). Thus, there are strong prospects for the aircraft across the globe.

The company believes that the eVTOL aviation ecosystem will feature its fully electric jets with “zero operating emissions, minimal infrastructure vertiports, low-noise vertical take-off and landing capabilities, and high-speed regional connectivity.” It has its eyes on certification as early as 2025, which is just around the corner. So, the future of short-haul travel could be overhauled sooner than we think.

Simple Flying will learn more about Lilium’s plans during the Paris Air Show this week. Stay tuned for more revelations from the company.