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.

Brazil’s Azul plans network of 220 eVTOL aircraft

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.

United partners with Archer Aviation to develop electric aircraft