Agreement signed to develop the air mobility industry in Japan

Japan Airlines and Sumitomo Corporation have agreed to develop the air mobility industry with Bell by utilising eVTOL.

Agreement signed to develop the air mobility industry in Japan

Image credit: Sumitomo Corporation

Japan Airlines (JAL), Sumitomo Corporation, and Bell Textron Inc have signed an agreement to explore business opportunities for air mobility services, deploying Bell’s eVTOL in Japan and Asia.

As urban areas become highly concentrated, eVTOL technology has attracted global attention in their efforts to develop the highly anticipated concept of a flying car, as urban air mobility can transport people and goods without the need of a runway and has the potential to operate an eco-friendly service, the companies said.

The cooperation agreement outlines the following:

  • Market research in Japan and Asia for mobility services utilising eVTOL
  • Study mobility services operation platforms, including air-taxi services
  • Promote activities to solve the issues to realise eVTOL operation, including safety, noise, and social acceptance
  • Approach related companies and organisations to promote the air mobility business.

JAL has said it aims to develop a next-generation air mobility operation platform service, such as flying cars, utilising knowledge accumulated via safe aircraft operation experience. In addition, through air mobility services, JAL has stated that it aims to resolve issues to deliver medical care in remote areas to achieve key sustainable development goals.

Further to this, Sumitomo Corporation has added it will contribute to new technological inventions, industrial development, and construction of a next-generation mobility society through a global network and diversified business activities based on relationships of trust with customers and partners in various industrial fields.

eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) is a small aircraft that can take off and land vertically by rotating multiple rotors with an electric motor. The companies explained that it is attracting attention as a means of transport for next-generation urban transportation that combines drone and electric vehicle technologies.