German aircraft manufacturer, Volocopter, has reportedly announced its commitment of launching air taxi services in Singapore after two years of close partnership with the city. The startup has planned to proceed with the roll-out of air taxi services in the Republic over a period of next three years in collaboration with the CAAS (Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore) and the EDB (Economic Development Board of Singapore).
As per sources, Volocopter’s emission-free aircraft takes off and lands in a vertical manner with each drone capable of carrying up to two passengers. The first air taxi route of the company is expected to be a touristic route over the southern waters, providing views of the Marina Bay skyline.
The route could also offer Singapore’s tourism sector with a new attraction, added Volocopter, further stating that follow-on connections might comprise cross-border flights for the enhancement of regional connectivity.
To that end, Volocopter has created Volocopter Asia Holding and appointed Hon Lung Chu as the Head of its Asia-Pacific base in Singapore. The company has further drawn plans for the development of a team of 50 business managers, pilots, engineers, and operation specialists over the next three years leading up to the roll out of its commercial operations. The startup is also hoping to hire over 200 full-time employees in Singapore for the management of a network of routes by 2026.
As expressed by EDB’s Executive Vice President, Tan Kong Hwee, Singapore is a significant regional test bed for urban air mobility, autonomous cars, and electric vehicles. EDB is glad that Volocopter has opted to anchor its research and development and commercial activities in the city-state, added Hwee.
Back in February, Volocopter formed a collaboration with the ride-hailing company Grab for the purpose of conducting a joint feasibility study on the prospect of providing airborne rides in South-east Asia. The two are likely to look into the most appropriate routes and cities for exploring the possibility of joint flight tests, deployment of air taxis, and the evaluation of the best use cases.