A German startup company, Volocopter, plans to make its first flight in Singapore. They will fly the flying taxi to the nearest destinations, those are Indonesia and Malaysia. The plan is, this flying taxi will start airing in 2024.
Volocopter’s Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Bauer, explained that in the first phase the company will operate as many as 10 to 20 units of air taxis. The entire fleet will serve flights to popular tourist destinations, such as Marina Bay and Sentosa, Singapore.
Based on the Volocopter roadmap that was released on Monday (14/2), a flight from Changi Airport to Batam only takes 20 minutes.
While a business trip to the Ibrahim International Business District in Johor Baru, Malaysia can be reached in just 30 minutes. This is faster than driving a car for three hours according to the company.
Regarding its shape, this Volocopter flying taxi looks like a small helicopter with various propellers. These vehicles take off and land on runways called vertiports which are approximately 20-25 meters wide. Furthermore, this runway can be built on top of the building to further facilitate its mobility.
Volocopter said the preparation of the technology is now close to commercialization. The company has been developing the air mobility industry since testing in 2019 when the taxi flew in the air for three minutes in Marina Bay.
Most recently, Volocopter is still trying to get certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency to allow it to operate air taxis in Europe and Singapore. However, the company is already selling tickets for a short 15-minute electric flying taxi flight.
“On manufacturing, we are assessing that and we have the next 12 months to see if we have to do it or if there is another potential,” Bauer said, quoted from the Hindustan Times page, Wednesday (16/2/2022). As part of its expansion in Asia, Volocopter is also planning to establish a maintenance operations center in Singapore.
He added, as a step to expand their business in Asia, they will set up a maintenance operations center in Singapore. Furthermore, they will also conduct a feasibility study for the manufacture of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft in Asia.
Bauer added that the company plans to increase the number of its staff in Singapore, from 10 people to 500 people by 2030.
“Volocopter will start providing parcel delivery services using drones in early 2023 in Chengdu, China, in collaboration with Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, as well as the governments of South Korea and Japan,” Bauer said.