Lufthansa Group and German developer Lilium are exploring a “strategic partnership” centred on the operation of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Europe.
Covered by a memorandum of understanding between the parties, the pact could see the pair work together to “explore innovation opportunities” in aviation.
This would include gaining a better understanding of the operational requirement of eVTOL aircraft, such as crew training needs and maintenance.
Collaboration with third parties to discuss infrastructure development is also foreseen.
Crucially, however, the agreement makes no mention of any commitment from Lufthansa to become a customer for the six-passenger Lilium Jet.
Dr Detlef Kayser, the Lufthansa Group’s executive board member responsible for fleet and technology, says the agreement with Lilium “will make an important contribution” to driving transformation in the aviation industry.
Lilium in 2020 disclosed an agreement with Lufthansa Aviation Training to develop a tailored recruitment and training programme for the Lilium Jet.
According to Lilium’s internal projections, the European market is expected to account for a demand of around 9,200 eVTOL aircraft through 2035.
Additionally, Lilium on 6 December announced that it had begun final assembly of the first production-conforming Lilium Jet at its facility in Wessling near Munich.
An initial fuselage, built by Aciturri in Spain, has arrived at Lilium’s Wessling site. The next step of the production process will be to mate it with the Aernnova-produced canards and wings.
One of seven aircraft to be used for the flight-testing campaign, the first jet is scheduled to make its maiden sortie next year. Service entry is planned in 2025.