Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd
BAN's World GazetteerJapan
Vertical Aerospace has secured a pre-delivery payment for the reservation of aircraft delivery slots from an existing customer, Japan-based trading and investment conglomerate Marubeni Corporation.
Following the joint working group partnership with Vertical, Marubeni has reserved aircraft delivery slots for 25 out of its up to 200 VX4 conditional pre-orders and becomes Vertical’s first customer in Asia to make a pre-delivery payment.
Marubeni’s commitment further reinforces Japan’s potential as a key launch market for advanced air mobility (AAM), and over recent months the company has also conducted proof of concept (POC) demonstration trials in preparation for the Osaka World Expo 2025. Marubeni conducted flights from Osaka heliport to Wakayama using existing helicopters at future expected AAM service prices. Throughout the trials, Marubeni began addressing public awareness, acceptance and requirements for future eVTOL services in the prefecture.
Vertical and Marubeni previously partnered in September 2021 for conditional pre-order options of up to 200 aircraft and joint evaluation of the requirements for eVTOL aircraft operations in Japan, as well as commercial considerations such as route and network planning and infrastructure requirements.
Vertical founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick says: “We are delighted to have reached the next milestone in our partnership with Marubeni. Japan is a wonderful country that is embracing the promise of eVTOL, as it will connect cities and regions like never before. We look forward to our joint efforts to build the ecosystem for zero-emissions travel in Japan.”
Marubeni general manager aviation, space and defence Satoshi Takechi adds: “We are proud to have taken another major step with Vertical Aerospace to introduce the VX4 in Japan. I am confident that our continued joint efforts, such as evaluating the requirements for eVTOL operations and engaging the potential partners under the joint working group, together with this new agreement, will accelerate the development of the AAM market in Japan. Marubeni will further enhance its activities to materialise our business, which aims to make air travel more accessible and convenient, while simultaneously contributing to climate change mitigation measures, including low-carbon and decarbonisation initiatives.”