Travel American Airlines invests in eVTOL startup with potential order for over 250 aircraft
American Airlines flight from Australia to Los Angeles canceled after crew member tests positive for COVID-19
American Airlines flight 72 was due to fly from Sydney, Australia, to Los Angeles on Friday before a flight crew member tested positive for COVID-19. Your browser does not support this video American Flight 72 was due to leave Sydney at 9 a.m. local time but is now due to depart Saturday at 11 a.m., according to the airline's website. "An American Airlines flight that was due to depart Sydney this morning was postponed due to a possible COVID-19 case in a flight crew member. The crew member was tested as part of routine surveillance,'' New South Wales health officials said in a statement.
American Airlines said Thursday that it is investing in Vertical Aerospace, a U.K.-based electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) startup.
Vertical is one of a number of companies racing to develop and certify an eVTOL vehicle, which startups argue could transform the future of urban mobility, shuttling passengers into, out of, and around cities with little noise and virtually no carbon pollution.
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How to fly lie-flat to Mexico and the Caribbean with American and Delta award space
American and Delta are flying wide-body jets to the Caribbean this summer, giving you a lie-flat seat on short flights. You’ll find American 777 and 787 aircraft and Delta 767 aircraft on select routes. These include destinations like Port-au-Prince (PAP), Mexico City (MEX) and San Juan (SJU) where mainland U.S. can travel for tourism during …This can be a great way to get your lie-flat fix while international travel to Europe and other destinations remains limited. There’s wide-open business class award space on many of these routes too, so you can book without breaking the bank.
Critics, however, say that the actual impact of eVTOLs will be minimal, as most designs currently in development can only carry four to five passengers and will have limited range, along with adding to already-congested airspace around cities.
American said that as part of the investment, it had pre-ordered up to 250 aircraft from Vertical — a potential preorder commitment of $1 billion — “subject to certain future agreed upon milestones and other terms.” The airline also has an option to order 100 additional aircraft.
Video: American Airlines to take stake in vertical aerospace in eVTOL SPAC (CNBC)
American said it also planned to give Vertical $25 million in funding through a private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction, although it was not immediately clear whether this was the investment being announced today, or an additional future investment.
How the Airlines Plan to Achieve a Greener Flying Future
It’s going to take more than just offsets to make the changes the climate needs.How will they do it? The plan puts a strong focus on increasing airlines’ access to and use of sustainable aviation fuel—jet fuel produced from sustainable sources such as plant oils, municipal waste, and agricultural residue that generates up to 80 percent fewer carbon emissions than conventional fossil fuel–based jet fuel. The commitment is coupled with the goal of making 2 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel available to U.S. carriers by 2030.
Vertical’s VA-X4 aircraft seats up to four passengers and can fly over 100 miles at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. According to American Airlines, the aircraft will be “zero-carbon,” presumably as long as it is charged from green electricity sources.
American described the investment as “the latest in the airline’s commitment to sustainability.” However, it is notable that the VA-X4 could not replace any current aircraft, due to its limited capacity and range. Rather, should it come to fruition, it would represent a new avenue of business for American, such as small charters or transporting passengers to or from airports. The airline declined to comment on potential future use cases for the aircraft.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.
Featured image courtesy of Vertical Aerospace.
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Alaska just joined the Oneworld alliance alongside American Airlines, British Airways, and 11 other carriers - here's why that's great for flyers
Frequent Alaska flyers can look forward to more upgrade opportunities, increased cooperation between airlines, and better international connections.Airline alliances are built on the premise that not a group of carriers can better connect the world than just one can. Each of America's three largest international airlines belongs to an airline alliance but the Oneworld alliance is now the only one to include two American carriers: American and Alaska.
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Where should I credit my flights? Maximizing American and JetBlue’s new loyalty partnership .
Last year, American Airlines and JetBlue teamed up to form the “Northeast Alliance.” This partnership lets the airlines start codesharing on each other’s flights in the Northeastern U.S., providing better connectivity at major airports like Boston (BOS) and New York-JFK. This partnership makes it easier for passengers to reach smaller airports and far-flung destinations alike. It …This partnership makes it easier for passengers to reach smaller airports and far-flung destinations alike. It has also resulted in a ton of interesting new routes on both carriers. For example, JetBlue will soon fly from Boston and New York-JFK to Vancouver (YVR), while American will fly from New York-JFK to New Delhi (DEL).