Air Greenland is to form a working group with leasing company Avolon to assess the opportunity to commercialise zero-emissions air travel in the region. The working group will also collaborate to identify local infrastructure and certification requirements for eVTOL aircraft. As part of the arrangement, Air Greenland will commit to purchasing or leasing a fleet of VX4 eVTOL aircraft, manufactured by Vertical Aerospace, from Avolon.
The VX4 is being built to EASA safety certification standards, the most stringent global requirements and at the same level as commercial aircraft. It will be near silent when in flight and will have zero operating emissions, transporting four passengers and one pilot distances of over 100 miles at up to 200 miles per hour. The size of Air Greenland's VX4 fleet will be defined at the conclusion of the working group's assessment of the scale of the market opportunity.
Air Greenland CEO Jacob Nitter Sørensen says: “This marks the start of our long term sustainability journey, and we are excited about bringing zero-emissions travel to our region. In Greenland, we see the effects of climate change every day and, as a company, we want to be at the forefront of the climate revolution. The VX4 aircraft will have many uses for Air Greenland and, through our partnership with Avolon, we look forward to welcoming our first travellers onboard in the near future, flying our guests to Ilimanaq Lodge to show the visible impacts that climate change is having on our country and planet.”
In June 2021, Avolon ordered 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Vertical, valued at US $2 billion. Since then it has placed 250 VX4 aircraft with Gol and Grupo Comporte in Brazil, up to 100 aircraft with Japan Airlines and a minimum of 100 aircraft with AirAsia; around 90 per cent of its initial orderbook.
CEO Dómhnal Slattery says: “Since our initial order, we have seen airlines all over the world make a commitment to the zero-emissions travel by selecting the VX4 aircraft as the first step in their decarbonisation journey. The transaction with Air Greenland means we are taking zero-emissions travel to where climate change is having its most pronounced impact. We look forward to working with Air Greenland to bringing the zero-operating emission VX4 aircraft to where it matters the most.”