Luxembourg-based Luxaviation (LXA, Luxembourg) is to support German electrical jet builder Lilium (Oberpfaffenhofen) GmbH in establishing commercial electrical vertical take-off-and-landing operations in Europe, the parties announced.

With its headquarters and manufacturing facilities based in Munich and teams across Europe and the US, Lilium plans to put its seven-seater electrical vertical take-off and landing “Lilium Jet” into service by 2024. It aims to launch networks in Germany through partnerships with airports in Munich, Nuremberg, Düsseldorf, and Cologne/Bonn.

The parties anticipate that Luxaviation Group will become responsible for parts of the airline operations being developed by Lilium, they said in a joint statement. Luxaviation Group would secure the necessary approvals and manage the pilots, which would be trained following a type-rating concept being developed by Lufthansa Aviation Training, another Lilium partner. Luxaviation would also work with Lilium on the development of the customer experience.

Founded in 1964, the Luxaviation Group holds 10 Air Operator’s Certificates (AOCs) across Europe with hundreds of aircraft under its management. Represented on five continents, the group comprises brands such as Luxaviation, Luxaviation Helicopters (Luxembourg), Starspeed (Fairoaks), and ExecuJet Air Charter (EXD, Johannesburg Lanseria). It specialises in aircraft management for private and commercial aircraft, private air charter services, and the management and operation of VIP passenger terminals in 26 airports around the globe.

In partnership with leading aerospace, technology, and infrastructure partners, Lilium, founded in 2015, aims to create a sustainable and accessible mode of high-speed, regional transportation. The company has tested four generations of prototypes of an electric vertical take-off and landing jet. In 2018, it applied for concurrent type certification with EASA and the FAA for the larger Lilium Jet that will enter commercial operations.

Luxaviation Group Chief Executive Patrick Hansen said: “Electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft will fundamentally change the way we travel, and the Lilium network is poised to be at the forefront of this sea change in aviation”. The partnership marked a key milestone for Lilium as it prepared for the commercial launch, added Chief Operating Officer Remo Gerber.