Air Greenland's new partnership with Avolon includes an agreement to purchase or lease multiple eVTOL aircraft made by Vertical Aerospace—the VX4 pictured above. (Photo: Still from video provided by Avolon)
In a new partnership, Avolon and Air Greenland will form a Working Group to examine the potential of commercial zero-emission air travel in Greenland. Air Greenland has also committed to a purchase or lease of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Avolon; the eVTOLs will be manufactured by Vertical Aerospace, maker of the five-seater, zero-emission VX4 aircraft.
The new Working Group provides an opportunity for Avolon and Air Greenland to coordinate in identifying local eVTOL requirements related to infrastructure and certification. Once both companies assess the market opportunity, they will be able to determine the number of VX4 eVTOLs necessary for Air Greenland’s fleet. The current fleet includes 17 helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft (Airbus A330-200 and 7 Dash 8-200) for passenger and cargo transportation, and a King Air for medical evacuation.
CEO Jacob Nitter Sørensen: "How can Air Greenland play a bigger part in battling the effects of climate change? Zero-emissions aircraft is the ultimate answer to that question." (Photo: Avolon / Air Greenland)
The CEO of Air Greenland, Jacob Nitter Sørensen, remarked that this partnership with Avolon is the beginning of their company’s long-term journey towards sustainability. “In Greenland, we see the effects of climate change every day and, as a company, we want to be at the forefront of the climate revolution,” Sørensen said. “The VX4 aircraft will have many uses for Air Greenland and, through our partnership with Avolon, we look forward to welcoming our first travellers onboard in the near future.”
Avolon, the aircraft leasing company headquartered in Ireland, placed an order for 500 VX4 aircraft from Vertical Aerospace in June 2021. The deal could be valued at $2 billion in total. Vertical has also secured partnerships with Rolls-Royce, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Honeywell, and Microsoft. Vertical Aerospace recently shared news of a merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp. in December 2021. At the time, pre-orders for the VX4 aircraft totaled $5.4 billion.
Key features of the VX4 eVTOL include a low noise profile, a 100-mile range, and a top speed of 200 miles per hour. In addition to a pilot, the aircraft will be capable of transporting four passengers. It is being designed and manufactured to EASA’s (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) safety certification standards.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Vertical, commented on the announcement about the collaboration between Avolon and Air Greenland: “We are delighted that Air Greenland has chosen the VX4 to bring zero emissions air travel to the region. This partnership is a significant first step in introducing sustainable air mobility to Greenland.”
"Today's announcement with Air Greenland means we are taking the zero-emissions travel to the front line of climate change," commented the CEO of Avolon, Dómhnal Slattery. (Photo: Still from video provided by Avolon)