Skyports, an advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure developer, and AirAsia have signed a letter of intent to explore the development of air taxi infrastructure in Malaysia.
The partnership is a step towards establishing a fully operational vertiport network in the country.
AirAsia is actively involved in the operationalisation of AAM in Malaysia. In the past year alone, the company announced future plans to lease 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon, launched its drone training programme, and most recently, extended drone-related training to the high-technology related sectors.
Identification of potential vertiport sites
Initial assessments will prioritise Kuala Lumpur. The one-year partnership will focus on joint feasibility studies for the integration of air taxi vertiport infrastructure, the identification of potential vertiport sites, and the development of operational requirements and frameworks to ultimately implement a vertiport network in Malaysia.
AirAsia Aviation Group Limited chief safety officer and head of AAM, Captain Ling Liong Tien, said: “Following the announcement of our venture into the urban air taxi service earlier this year, we have been working around the clock to explore its feasibility in Malaysia.
“This partnership with Skyports will accelerate the review of the infrastructure including vertical take-off and landing platforms in the country as well as strengthen our potential as a zero-emissions ultra-short-haul air travel provider in Southeast Asia.
“AirAsia has revolutionised commercial air travel for the past two decades and we look forward to working with Skyports which will put us ahead of the curve and shape the future of autonomous aviation in the region.”
Steady progress of AAM development
Mr Yun-Yuan Tay, head of Asia Pacific, Skyports said: “We are excited to be partnering with AirAsia, a powerhouse airline operator that brings great synergy to our work at Skyports. This partnership highlights the steady progress of AAM development and interest in Malaysia and the wider APAC region.
“With innovative and forward-looking partners like AirAsia, we will be able to take concrete steps towards the realisation of a safe, efficient and fully-integrated air taxi network which brings real benefits to the people and communities it serves.”