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UrbanLink inks deal with Lilium for 20 eVTOL jets
The firm purchase of 20 Lilium Jets makes UrbanLink the first US airline fully committed to integrating eVTOL aircraft into its fleet. It will begin operations with a regional network connecting cities in South Florida.
A rendering of the Lilium Jet with UrbanLink livery flying over Miami.

South Florida-based startup UrbanLink Air Mobility is purchasing 20 Lilium Jets from developer Lilium, with scheduled pre-delivery payments, becoming the first airline in the US fully committed to integrating eVTOL aircraft into its fleet.

Newly launched UrbanLink is led by Ed Wegel, a seasoned airline executive with 40 years of experience in financing, operations and distribution. Wegel has raised more than $1 billion for aviation ventures and led FAA certifications for two US Part 135 airlines and several US Part 121 carriers, including achieving the 2014 certification of Eastern Air Lines' 737-800 fleet in a record-breaking eight months. Most recently, he served as CEO and founder of GlobalX, America's fastest-growing charter airline. He has also served as a board member for private and public airlines including Atlantic Coast Airlines, BWIA International Airlines and Eastern Airlines, and was a key developer of JetBlue's initial business plan.

Wegel says: "While many airlines have discussed the potential of operating eVTOL aircraft, none have made a definitive commitment. UrbanLink will be the first airline in the US to integrate eVTOL aircraft into its fleet. We are dedicated to revolutionising the way people move to and from, as well as within, urban cores. After thorough evaluation of various manufacturers, we found the Lilium Jet to be the optimal choice for our needs, thanks to its superior cabin design, range, capacity and cost-effectiveness."

UrbanLink's entry into the region includes plans to utilise the network of Florida vertiports that Lilium and its partners have worked on over the past five years. It sees eVTOLs as a key driver of sustainable regional connectivity across south Florida. The Lilium Jet, with its planned launch range, is poised to fulfil this vision by linking major cities such as Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, extending seamlessly across the peninsula to Marco Island. The service launch is targeted for 2026. The operator then plans to expand to other markets, including Los Angeles, integrating AAM into the existing transportation infrastructure.

"Advanced air mobility is quickly becoming a reality, and UrbanLink will lead the charge in bringing this transformative technology to life in south Florida as well as additional US and overseas markets," adds Wegel. "Our team is passionate about leveraging AAM to create smarter, more efficient transportation solutions that positively impact communities. South Florida, with its unique geographical and demographic characteristics, presents an exciting opportunity for us to demonstrate the transformative potential of air mobility."

Lilium CCO Sebastien Borel says: "We are proud that UrbanLink has selected the Lilium Jet for its network and operations. This is a huge milestone, not only for Lilium, but for the commercialisation of eVTOLs in the US. We believe that this purchase of eVTOL aircraft is the first by a commercial operator that isn't invested in the manufacturer that it is purchasing from. This is a sign that the market for eVTOL aircraft has matured and there is growing demand for aircraft that can provide connections between, rather than just within, cities. I know that Ed has the vision and operational expertise to make regional air mobility a success."

To help lead the charge, Wegel has recruited seasoned aviation professionals to make up its management team and board of directors. The appointments will be announced in the coming weeks along with critical strategic partners that will assist in accelerating UrbanLink's certification and growth.

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