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American Airlines is investing in the future of aviation, having just announced an agreement to order a new type of aircraft worth $ 1 billion that will be designed to fly over congested cities.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said it also hoped to invest $ 25 million in Vertical Aerospace, a UK company that develops electric lift-off and ground-lift aircraft, also known as eVTOL. These electric airplanes are similar to helicopters that aim to offer intra-urban transport and is an alternative to the automobile.
In other words, small planes will travel from one point of the city to the airport in order for people to avoid busy streets.
The Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 aircraft aims to fly with up to four passengers at distances greater than 100 miles with speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. American Airlines could probably offer transportation to and from the airport.
American Airlines said it agreed to reserve up to 250 Vertical Aerospace planes, worth $ 1 billion, with the option to order 100 more.
“It is a relatively low risk, high reward investment and strategy on the part of American Airlines. The airline is not betting its financial future on these aircraft with this investment at this time, ”said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst.
American Airlines said that sustainability was also a primary point of its purchase, since The VA-X4 is designed to be a carbonless aircraft that runs on batteries rather than jet fuel.
“Emerging technologies are critical in the race to reduce carbon emissions and we are excited to partner with Vertical to develop the next generation of electric aircraft,” said Derek Kerr, American’s chief financial officer, in a release.
American Airlines’ partnership with Vertical is the latest move in the airline’s commitment to sustainability. Recent efforts by the airline include:
–$ 24 billion investment since 2013 in 595 more fuel-efficient aircraft as part of the most extensive fleet renewal effort in the history of the aviation industry.
–During the same period, American recalled a similar number of less fuel-efficient aircraft, including the recall of more than 150 older and less fuel-efficient aircraft in 2020.
–The company committed to purchase 9 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over three years from Neste, a leading producer of renewable products.
–Investment in new technologies to help airplanes operate more efficiently.
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