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Airbus and ITA Airways to Collaborate on the Development of Urban Air Mobility in Italy

Airbus and ITA Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner in the development of urban air mobility (UAM) in Italy. The companies will explore the creation tailored emission-free UAM solutions.

ITA Airways CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL Rendering – Courtesy Airbus

On Wednesday (April 27, 2022), Airbus announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITA Airways for collaboration on emission-free urban air mobility (UAM) solutions in Italy. As part of the agreement, the companies will explore the creation of tailored UAM services by identifying strategic use cases. Airbus and ITA Airways foresee a joint approach toward local stakeholders in order to onboard additional partners for the safe and sustainable launch of the CityAirbus NextGen electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which is currently under development.

In Wednesday’s announcment, ITA Airways’ Chairman, Alfredo Altavilla, said,

“The partnership between ITA Airways and Airbus started with the evolution toward more modern, more comfortable and environmentally-friendly commercial aircraft, equipped with cutting-edge technologies. With this agreement, our partnership expands to the segment of urban air mobility for a wider, customer-centric, innovative and sustainable offer for our customers.”

Also commenting on the new eVTOL partnership, Airbus’ CEO, Guillaume Faury, added,

“This agreement is testimony to the strong relationship between Airbus and ITA Airways. It is an opportunity to leverage our shared ambition – pioneering sustainable aerospace – and advance new air mobility solutions for zero-emission vertical flight in support of our cities and communities later this decade.”

The CityAirbus NextGen is a fully electric vehicle with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and a distributed propulsion system featuring eight electrically-powered propellers. The aircraft will carry up to four passengers, including a pilot, and will offer zero emission flights for a range of missions. The aircraft is being designed to fly up to 80 kilometers and reach a cruise speed of 120 km/hr. Airbus has been exploring how electric propulsion can drive the development of new aerial vehicles since 2014. In September 2021, the company unveiled their fully-electric CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL prototype. The UAM solution has not only been designed to offer a new mobility service, but also as an important step to reduce aviation emissions across their product range.

Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways) was founded in November 2020 and is the new Italian national carrier wholly-owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. Commencing operations in October 2021, the SkyTeam alliance member airline is committed to providing superior customer service through strong digitization processes that ensure a personalized, best-in-class guest experience. The company is committed to environmental sustainability through the operation of advanced fuel-efficient aircraft, the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and other developing technologies such as the development of urban air mobility through eVTOLs. ITA Airways recently purchased seven Airbus A220s, 11 A320neos and 10 A330neos, and the Airbus A350 will also join the company’s fleet during summer 2022.

Source(s): Airbus, ITA Airways

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