Advanced air mobility companies descended on the Singapore air show with ambitions of unlocking the vast potential market for next-generation aircraft in Asia.

US-based and Embraer-backed air taxi developer Eve Air Mobility, for example, intends to launch early operations in Brazil and the USA. But it believes its yet-to-be-certificated electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will eventually be aimed at major population centres in the Asia-Pacific region. 

“When you know there are 4.8 billion people in the region – 60% of the global population, and 70% of global GDP over the last decade has been in this region – you’ve got to be here,” Johann Bordais, Eve’s chief executive, said during an advanced air mobility panel discussion on 20 February.

Eve's air taxi over Singapore

Source: Embraer

Eve’s proposed air taxi will eventually be deployed in the Asia-Pacific region, says chief executive Johann Bordais 

That sentiment was echoed by Andrew MacMillian, chief commercial and strategy officer for UK-based Vertical Aerospace, who pointed to South Korea and Malaysia as areas ripe for air taxi operations.

“We’re working on exactly what the use case is, and the good news is that you have a really strong operational use case – big urban areas with large populations, high incomes and [the potential] for huge time-savings for people,” he says.

Executives with eVTOL developer Archer Aviation and hybrid-electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) start-up Electra Aero, both of the USA, pointed to India as the Asian country with the most potential for ramping up large-scale inter- and intra-city operations.

Diana Siegel, Electra’s chief financial officer, notes that India has strong hub-and-spoke airline services but “there is very low connectivity within the regions” – making the country an intriguing potential landing spot for its proposed eSTOL.