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Lilium (LILM) inks new partnership to bring eVTOL jet rides to the South of France

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eVTOL jet developer Lilium has signed another pivotal partnership overseas that will bring aviation technology operations to the South of France and possibly other parts of Europe. The advanced air mobility startup is working with UrbanV out of Italy, and Aeroports de la Côte d’Azur forge to implement a vertiport network in the French Riviera, which could very well be the first region in Europe to enable regional eVTOL travel.

Lilium ($LILM) is a Munich-based startup founded in 2015 that specializes in Regional Air Mobility (RAM). The company has remained steadily on our news radar as it continues to expand its footprint of development teams across Europe and the United States.

In addition to expanding its own staff of aerospace engineers and regional offices, Lilium has continued to secure partnerships around the globe to establish eVTOL jet operations now that its aerial technology has gained design authorization from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

This past February, Lilium announced a partnership to bring eVTOL operations to Asia, beginning in the Philippines. Earlier this month, the startup secured a firm order from UrbanLink to put at least 20 of its eVTOL jets into service around South Florida.

Today, Lilium has announced yet another operational eVTOL partnership, this time overseas in the South of France – a popular travel destination that sees 11 million tourists visit each year.

eVTOL jet
The eVTOL Jet / Source: Lilium

eVTOL jets to operate in France and beyond by 2026

According to details shared by Lilium earlier today, it has established a new partnership with Italian vertiport network operator UrbanV and Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA), the agency responsible for managing Nice Côte d’Azur airport, the second largest airport in France.

Together, the new partners intend to develop and implement a vertiport network across the South of France to support regional eVTOL jet travel across popular destinations, including Monaco, Nice, Cannes, Golfe de Saint-Tropez, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille. Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Board for Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, spoke to the potential of this new partnership:

This collaboration with Lilium together with our subsidiary UrbanV marks an important step in the transformation and decarbonization of regional air mobility. Our territory offers a unique opportunity to fly over the sea to directly connect the main economic, cultural or tourist destinations. A complementary alternative to the helicopter, the eVTOL has its place in the air transport offered from Nice Côte d’Azur, laboratory of the airport of tomorrow, second platform in France and gateway to and exit from a landlocked territory.

In addition to Nice Côte d’Azur airport, Lilium will help integrate eVTOL vertiports in other areas of France, such as Cannes Mandelieu Airport and Golfe de Saint-Tropez Airport. Furthermore, other locations, including Sophia Antipolis, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille, are being considered.

The eVTOL startup says it is already engaged in talks with several regional aviation operators interested in purchasing its all-electric jets to transport tourists across those pending vertiports.

The French Riviera, better known as the Côte d’Azur region, has already committed to offsetting its emissions and reaching carbon net neutrality by 2030. Lilium hopes its eVTOLs and insight into vertiport infrastructure can not only help lower local emissions but bring faster and quieter aerial travel to tourists in France. Lilium CCO Sebastien Borel, wen on: 

As a truly European company based in Munich, Germany, with flight testing in Spain and with nascent roots in France, Lilium is extremely proud to be able to assist in the creation of the first regional eVTOL network in the South of France and the first commercially viable network in the EU. We see an enormous potential in this region and cannot wait to see our Lilium Jet fly there soon!

eVTOL operations are expected to begin in the South of France sometime in 2026.

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