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Vertical grows international commercial team
Two new hires bring huge experience to support expansion of Vertical's commercial reach and secure proximity to customers. It sees a clear use case for electric aircraft across the LATAM and Asia Pacific regions.
Head of market development, Latin America Steffen Bay.

UK-headquartered Vertical Aerospace has appointed Steffen Bay as head of market development, Latin America (LATAM), and Derek Cheng as head of commercial, Asia Pacific. The appointments build on the company’s continued growth and recent successful listing on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2021.

CCO Eduardo Dominguez Puerta says: “We are extremely excited to welcome Steffen and Derek on board. They both bring an incredible amount of knowledge and experience and will help us expand our commercial reach and secure proximity to our customers.”

Bay will be based in Brazil where he will be responsible for leading the implementation of business development activities to open-up the LATAM market further. As the former chief executive officer of NHV, a worldwide specialised business-to-business helicopter services business, he will also be Vertical’s expert on the helicopter market and opportunity. Bay has over 20 years’ experience in the aviation and financial industry, having worked in senior roles at NHV, Era Helicopters, now Bristow Group and Airbus in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

He says: “I am excited to be joining Vertical and helping to expand its exceptional partner ecosystem across Latin America, where I previously worked for almost 10 years. There is a clear and obvious use case for electric aircraft across the region, and I look forward to helping the business realise that potential. Having been the launching customer of several aircraft myself, I am very aware of what we will need to accomplish together in the years to come."

Cheng will be based in Singapore and will be responsible for leading all commercial, business and partnership development activities in Asia Pacific region. He has held several senior roles at Airbus, both in Toulouse and Singapore, including as the head of commercial of Asia Pacific for Airbus Urban Mobility and as the head of commercial of Asia Pacific for government and public affairs and strategic partnerships for Airbus Group. Prior to joining Airbus, Cheng was the regional director for Europe at the Singapore Economic Development Board, responsible for industry development and the promotion of foreign direct investment.

He adds: “I am exhilarated to be joining Vertical, to grow the business and partnership ecosystem in Asia-Pacific, to pioneer zero-emissions aviation and transform mobility in cities.”

Vertical already has a strong presence in both LATAM and Asia Pacific. Customers for its VX4 zero-operating emissions, four passenger electric aircraft include Brazil’s largest airline, Gol, for up to 250 aircraft, and in Japan, both Marubeni and JAL, for a combined total of up to 300 aircraft. JAL and Gol’s pre-orders are through Avolon, aircraft lessor and a strategic investor and partner of Vertical’s. Vertical has also sold across the helicopter market with 25 (and up to 50) pre-orders from Bristow Group.

Bay and Cheng join Vertical’s growing commercial team which also includes head of market development, North America Nate Isbell, who was previously at Kittyhawk and Airbus. The team is led by Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, formerly CEO of Airbus’ Urban Air Mobility unit. Vertical's pre-order book stands at 1,350 aircraft for American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes conditional pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni.

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