SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Shares in Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes climbed on Tuesday after it announced an agreement with lessor Avolon to buy or lease 250 electric air taxis.
Gol’s preferred shares rose 2.3% in early trading in Sao Paulo, to 19.30 reais, while the broader Bovespa index was up around 0.6%.
In a securities filing, Gol said it expects to begin operating a fleet of model VA-X4 eVTOL, manufactured by UK’s Vertical Aerospace, in 2025. A holding company owned by Gol’s controlling shareholders, Grupo Comporte, will finance the transaction, Gol added, without giving a figure.
Gol also said that the move is part of its commercial strategy to invest in the regional air transportation market. The Brazilian airline intends to open up new routes to what it has called “underserved domestic markets.”
It also adds to its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, Gol said.
“The first step of the new partnership is to carry out a feasibility study, including aircraft certification and analysis of the infrastructure needed to operate this aircraft with Brazil’s regulator ANAC, the Department of Airspace Control and other national and international aeronautical authorities.”
Avolon, which had previously stated it believes that flying taxis could rapidly poach passengers from planes, expects to complete the certification process for the VA-X4 in Brazil by 2024.
Vertical Aerospace, the British manufacturer of the flying taxis, is backed by American Airlines, which has recently announced an exclusive three-year codeshare agreement and a $200 million equity investment in Gol.
($1 = 5.3173 reais)
(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Gabriel Araujo, Editing by Louise Heavens and Steve Orlofsky)