Brazilian airline Azul and electric aircraft firm Lilium have unveiled plans to build a network of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft across the country.

Lilium said that it “it intends to enter into a $1 billion commercial deal and strategic alliance” with the carrier, with Azul purchasing 220 eVTOL aircraft from 2025.

The Munich-based firm said that Brazil sees close to 100 million domestic air passengers each year, “and is currently one of the world’s leading civilian helicopter and business aviation markets”.

The deal – which is subject to both parties finalising commercial terms – would see the establishment of a co-branded network, with Azul operating and maintaining the seven-seater Lilium Jets, and Lilium providing an aircraft health monitoring platform, replacement batteries and other custom spare parts.

Lilium has previously announced plans to launch networks in Germany through partnerships with Munich, Nuremberg, Dusseldorf, and Cologne Bonn airports.

Commenting on the news John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul, said:

“Azul is the largest domestic airline in Brazil in terms of cities served and daily departures. Our brand presence, our unique route network, and our powerful loyalty program give us the tools to create the markets and demand for the Lilium Jet network in Brazil.

“As we did in the Brazilian domestic market over the last 13 years, we look forward to again, now with the Lilium Jet, working to create a whole new market in the years to come.”

Earlier this year Virgin Atlantic unveiled ambitions to establish a network of short-haul passenger flights using a fleet of up to 150 eVTOL aircraft in partnership with Bristol-based manufacturer Vertical Aerospace.

Virgin Atlantic plans network of short-haul eVTOL aircraft

And in February United Airlines signed a deal with sustainable air mobility firm Archer Aviation to accelerate the production of eVTOL aircraft.,