Airbus is partnering with Japanese helicopter operator Hiratagakuen to develop advanced air mobility services in the Kansai region and beyond.

Through the agreement, Airbus and Hiratagakuen will tackle aspects required to launch a commercial transportation service with CityAirbus NextGen.

The partners’ joint project to organise a simulation of ideal routes, concepts of operations and necessary equipment for eVTOL flights in the Kansai region has been selected by the Osaka prefecture, with a demonstration flight scheduled for later this year.

‘Revolution in air transportation’

Mitsuhiro Hirata, vice president, Aviation Operation Division of Hiratagakuen, said: “We are very pleased to conduct a demonstration flight in the Osaka-Kansai region with Airbus for the future of mobility, using the latest H135 helicopter.

“We have been operating Airbus helicopters for many years and highly appreciate their high safety, performance, operational reliability and proven after-sales support. We are aware that a revolution in air transportation is now approaching in the Osaka area, and we expect CityAirbus NextGen to play a central role in this revolution.”

Balkiz Sarihan, head of UAM Strategy Execution and Partnerships at Airbus, said: “We are honoured to further our long standing collaboration with Hiratagakuen by working on this exciting journey towards zero emission flights. Their expertise in commercial air transport and air medical services operations makes them an ideal partner for defining the operational framework for advanced air mobility with CityAirbus NextGen in Japan”.

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