Brazil’s largest carrier GOL has announced plans to operate a network of 250 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
The airline carrier has signed a non-binding letter of intent with aircraft leasing company Avolon for the acquisition and/or lease of the planes, which it hopes to begin operations with by mid-2025.
The VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft in question are being built by Bristol-based manufacturer Vertical Aerospace, with investment capital being provided by Brazilian transport operator Grupo Comporte.
The VA-X4 can carry up to four passengers and one pilot, and has a range of 160km, with GOL hoping that the aircraft will enable it to open up new routes to underserved domestic markets.
The firms will now carry out a feasibility study, including an analysis of the infrastructure needed to operate the aircraft, alongside aircraft certification, which is expected to be completed by 2024.
The agreement is the latest in a raft of potential big orders for eVTOL aircraft – in August rival Brazilian carrier Azul announced plans to build a network of eVTOL aircraft across the country, in partnership with electric aircraft firm Lilium.
Earlier this summer Virgin Atlantic unveiled ambitions to establish a network of short-haul passenger flights using eVTOL aircraft – also in partnership with Vertical Aerospace.
And in February United Airlines signed an agreement with sustainable air mobility firm Archer Aviation to accelerate the production of short-haul eVTOL aircraft.