Rolls-Royce study lays down huge potential of Asia Pacific advanced air mobility industry
February 17, 2022
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  • Aviation pioneer Rolls-Royce and global consulting firm Roland Berger have released a wide-ranging market study into the potential of the advanced air mobility market (AAM) in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. A key finding is that this market segment could deliver US$36.9 billion of service revenue alone by 2050.

    Other notable forecasts from the report include that of the global AAM market, the APAC region could account for more than half of all operated all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and over 40% of global revenue by the end of this century’s fifth decade. Some 82,500 AAM aircraft, the report says, could be in operation in the APAC region by that time.

    A frontrunner for advanced air mobility: The highly-urbanised nature of many major Asia Pacific cities have made the region a natural area of concentration for eVTOL innovation

    The study also highlights the importance of government, industry and regulators working together to develop the regulation, infrastructure and societal change needed to deliver the many economic and environmental benefits that AAM offers.

    The report looks into the benefits of passenger eVTOL aircraft, known as air taxis, that can be used for urban and regional air mobility. This includes city taxi or airport shuttle routes and intercity flights of up to 250 kilometres.

    Germany eVTOL developer Volocopter released a report earlier this week on the potential of the Singapore market for advanced air mobility. Click here to read our story.

    Rolls-Royce said that the urban geographies of eVTOL frontrunner cities such as Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul mean the APAC region could lead the way in AAM by offering time-saving and more convenient travel that could bring downtown, suburbs and tourist attractions closer together.

    The study estimates that 16,400 passenger eVTOL aircraft could be in operation in Japan alone, worth around US$14.3 billion in service revenue by 2050.

    The report also states that South Korea offers the commercial potential of US$3.8 billion and Singapore US$350 million of service revenue in under three decades.

    Rolls-Royce President – Electrical Rob Watson said: “The advanced air mobility market is incredibly exciting, offering the opportunity to transform the way we travel.

    “This market study with Roland Berger demonstrates the commercial potential of the APAC region and how the region could lead the way in introducing all-electric passenger services.

    “Rolls-Royce is at the forefront of developing and delivering all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems that will enable passengers to travel sustainably and help deliver net zero carbon by 2050.”

    Roland Berger Senior Partner and Global Head of Aerospace & Defence Manfred Hader said: “A whole new ecosystem with new business opportunities will emerge as AAM becomes a reality.”

    Rolls-Royce and the AAM industry

    Rolls-Royce is offering customers in the AAM industry a complete electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion system for their platforms.

    Solutions are under development for eVTOL, electric short take-off/landing (eSTOL) and electric fixed-wing commuter aircraft supported by a specialised team based in Singapore as part of the global Rolls-Royce Electrical business.

    The company is collaborating with Vertical Aerospace for the electrical technology that will power its pioneering eVTOL aircraft. The UK-based company has already announced substantial pre-orders from customers in the APAC region.

    In addition, Rolls-Royce and airframer Tecnam are currently working with Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market.

    Beyond that, Rolls-Royce said it will leverage its existing capabilities to deliver maintenance services for the emerging AAM industry and together with Rolls-Royce Power Systems will look to provide charging and energy infrastructure for airports and vertiports.