Charles Alcock AIN Online
Directional Aviation Division Halo To Buy 200 Eve eVTOLs for UAM Network
June 8, 2021
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  • Halo, the new urban air mobility operation launched by business aviation group OneSky Flight, today placed the largest order to date for new eVTOL aircraft. In 2026, the company intends to start taking delivery of 200 of Embraer’s four-passenger Eve aircraft and will split this fleet between operations in the U.S. and the UK.

    The new urban air mobility (UAM) operator will combine OneSky Flight helicopter operators Halo Aviation in the UK and U.S.-based Associated Aircraft Group (AAG). OneSky Flight is part of the Directional Aviation group, which also includes private aircraft fractional ownership provider Flexjet, jet card service Sentient Jet, and on-demand charter operators PrivateFly and FxAir.

    Prior to the delivery of the first Eve eVTOL, the new combined operation will provide flights with Halo Aviation’s Leonardo AW109 and AW169 helicopters, and AAG’s Sikorsky fleet. Customers of the other Directional Aviation services will be able to access the Halo flights, which are expected to begin in the New York City and London areas. OneSky Flight’s expansion into vertical lift services is being led by Andrew Collins.

    Halo has not disclosed the value of the deal agreed with Embraer or said whether the order is secured by a deposit. In a statement today, the company said it had evaluated nearly a dozen other eVTOL aircraft before agreeing on the partnership with the Brazilian manufacturer, which also makes a family of business jets, regional airliners, and military aircraft. The Directional Aviation group is already an Embraer customer with several of its Phenom, Praetor, and Legacy private jets in its portfolio.

    “Bringing together two companies, which are leading providers of vertical lift and urban mobility services in two of the most important markets, will create a phenomenal vertical mobility platform,” commented Directional Aviation principal Kenn Ricci. “And in placing this order for a revolutionary breakthrough in urban air mobility, we are advancing toward safe, efficient, and sustainable travel between our cities. eVTOL urban air mobility is the greatest opportunity, and the greatest challenge, in my 40 years in aviation, and Eve is positioned to make it a reality.”

    Embraer formed Eve Urban Air Mobility as a breakaway subsidiary from its EmbraerX technology incubator. Last year, the company said it was looking to sign up strategic partners to help complete the development of its all-electric, lift-and cruise eVTOL aircraft. Working with other Embraer subsidiaries, such as Atech, and partners including Airservices Australia and energy group EDP, Embraer is focusing on developing the wider UAM ecosystem including air traffic management and ground infrastructure.

    The new aircraft is expected to have a range of up to around 60 miles. Embraer said it will be up to 80 percent quieter than current helicopters and with 50 percent lower operating costs.

    “This partnership is an important step for Eve to assume its position as a global leader in the UAM industry,” said Eve Urban Air Mobility president Andre Stein. “We are ready to build the future of mobility with our partners in an extremely collaborative way. Halo is aligned with our mission to create comprehensive urban air mobility solutions, and this order marks an important milestone for Eve in key markets.”

    OneSky Flight acquired UK helicopter operator Halo Aviation in May, having previously acquired AAG in February. In the U.S., commercial eVTOL aircraft operations are expected to be conducted under existing FAA Part 135 rules. In the UK, they will be regulated by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, which has yet to say whether the new category of aircraft will be covered by existing rules for rotorcraft.