Eve UAM investor SPAC Zanite Acquisition Corp is to change its name to Eve Holding and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols EVEX and EVEXW. Embraer Aircraft remains a majority stockholder with an equity stake of around 82 per cent. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
Embraer has contributed its UAM-related assets, employees and IP to Eve, and has granted the company a royalty-free licence to Embraer's background IP to be used within the UAM market. Thus Eve has access to thousands of skilled Embraer employees on a flexible, first priority basis and use of Embraer's global infrastructure on preferred terms, with significant cost and execution advantages relative to other UAM participants.
"We believe that the urban air mobility market has enormous potential to expand in the coming years based on an efficient, zero-emissions transport proposition and that with this business combination, Eve is very well positioned to become one of the major players in this segment," says Embraer president and CEO Francisco Gomes Neto. "As a global aerospace company, with leadership position in multiple segments, we understand that innovation and technology play a strategic role in driving sustainable growth and redefining the future of aviation.”
Eve’s UAM solution spans eVTOL design and production, service and support, fleet operations and urban air traffic management. By leveraging the ongoing support and resources of Embraer and the proceeds of the Zanite business, the companies believe that Eve is positioned to develop, certify and commercialise its UAM solutions on a global scale.
"The Zanite team is extremely proud to partner with Eve and Embraer in this transaction. After an extensive search, we selected Eve because of its simple and certifiable eVTOL design, its capital efficient approach to fleet operations and Embraer's global footprint that we believe will enable Eve to not only reach vehicle type certification, but to scale its manufacturing, support and operations globally," says Kenn Ricci, co-CEO of Zanite and principal of Directional Aviation Capital, a member of Zanite's sponsor.
Eve will be led by co-CEOs Jerry DeMuro, former BAE Systems CEO, and Andre Stein, who has led Eve since its inception and served in leadership roles with Embraer for more than two decades. "Urban air mobility is a transformational opportunity in the aviation sector. I joined Eve because I believe that there is no company better positioned to capitalise on the tremendous potential of this emerging market," says DeMuro.
Stein adds: "Eve was founded on a vision to accelerate the UAM ecosystem, make safe and affordable urban air transportation available to all citizens, while reducing global carbon emissions. The transaction announced today with Zanite is a major milestone that will accelerate our strategic plan and support us in realising our vision.”
Eve has formed a network of strategic partners spanning the UAM ecosystem, including fleet operators, ride sharing partners, vertiport providers, aircraft lessors, financing partners, renewable energy providers and leaders in the defence and technology sectors. Through this it has secured launch orders from 17 customers, via non-binding letters of intent, resulting in a pipeline of 1,735 vehicles valued at approximately $5.2 billion.
The Zanite combination values Eve at an implied $2.4 billion enterprise value, as well as funding from PIPE, comprised of commitments from sources that now include Azorra Aviation, Republic Airways and SkyWest.
Florida-headquartered Azorra, a longstanding partner and lessor of Embraer aircraft, has signed a LoI for an order of up to 200 eVTOL aircraft, and will help establish a base of operators for scheduled UAM missions with the requisite infrastructure needed to enable eVTOL flights around the world.
"Azorra is excited to partner with Eve and be on the forefront of the eVTOL revolution,” says president Ron Baur. “The practicality of Eve's design, coupled with Embraer's more than 50 year proven track record of developing safe and reliable aircraft, will position Eve well for a successful product launch.”
The LoI creates an opportunity for both companies, together with future UAM operators, to propose new procedures and frameworks to enable the entire UAM ecosystem to complement Eve's product and service portfolio.
"Today almost half of commercial aircraft are leased, and we believe leasing companies will also play an active role in urban air mobility, allowing operators to remain asset light,” says Stein. “Azorra has a history of helping markets grow, and we are excited to join them in this new frontier for aviation.”
US regional airline Republic Airways Holdings has signed a MoU and LoI for the purchase of up to 200 aircraft. It will explore additional opportunities within subsidiaries such as LIFT Academy, that are focused on workforce development initiatives and the future of air travel, with a view to developing a deployment network throughout the Central and East Coast markets of the US, initially on the Boston, New York and Washington, DC markets.
A working group will study the requirements of future AOCs where these aircraft can be deployed in specific markets and missions, and examine the feasibility of additional services from other types of urban air vehicles.
"Republic's commitment to provide sustainable aviation solutions to our codeshare partners, American, Delta and United, relies on continued investments in both workforce development and emerging clean technologies,” says president and CEO Bryan Bedford. “The strategic relationship with Eve builds upon decades of a successful relationship with Embraer that has expanded access to regional airports across the country. We believe Eve's UAM platform could play a critical role in our future workforce development initiatives.”
"This partnership is a new chapter of a longstanding alliance and a shared tradition of excellence between Republic and Embraer, and now Eve. Republic has the expertise of flying extensive route networks in the US that are similar to what we expect to see with UAM on a different geographical scale. Beyond that, the deployment of our eVTOL will provide millions of passengers in the country with a faster and better solution as their last-mile option," adds Stein.
SkyWest, the holding company for SkyWest Airlines and SkyWest Leasing, has signed an MoI and LoI to purchase 100 eVTOL aircraft, to be deployed throughout the US. It will also work with Eve to develop a portfolio of services-based capabilities to optimise eVTOL performance in key early adopter cities that will be prioritised for initial UAM operations. To support this effort, a joint team will focus on vehicle design, vertiport specifications and the certification roadmap for eVTOL operations.
SkyWest has been an Embraer partner since 1986, and operates Embraer's commercial aircraft for major airline operators. Both companies have also agreed to form a working group to jointly evaluate the utilisation of Eve's next generation air traffic management and fleet operating solutions.
"Eve's partnership with SkyWest gives the very best to every passenger that will be served by this alliance. The combined experience and operational knowledge of SkyWest and Eve, through its partnership with Embraer, will deliver a robust and mature operation to SkyWest's vast presence. We are very excited to offer SkyWest an excellent experience that will serve to increase accessibility for all," says Stein.