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Vertical Aerospace to be announced for $ 2.2 billion SPAC agreement

Vertical Aerospace, an electric vertical takeoff and landing gear manufacturer (eVTOL) backed by investors such as American Airlines (AAL.O), will announce a merger with a blank check company in a $ 2.2 billion deal, the company said on Thursday .

Vertical Aerospace said it has pre-orders for up to 1

,000 eVTOL aircraft with launch customers Avolon and American Airlines, along with a pre-order option from Virgin Atlantic, all valued at up to $ 4 billion.

“If you think about transportation strategically, this is the next big frontier,” Domhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon, the world’s third-largest airline leasing company, told Reuters in an interview.

“Whether it’s airlines operating this as an add-on product or riding sharing companies in different jurisdictions, I think it will take many different forms over time.”

Investments in zero-emission electric aircraft come at a time when carriers are under increasing pressure from investors to help decarbonise the sector and increase their environmental, social and governance performance (ESG).

Analysts say a key issue is how long it takes for the new electric planes to be certified by aviation authorities.

Europe’s top regulator said last month that the region could see the first flying taxis come into operation as early as 2024. (https://reut.rs/3cyehAh)

Vertical will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ‘EVTL’ following an agreement with Broadstone Acquisition Corp (BSN.N). The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021.

American Airlines and Avolon, as well as Honeywell and Rolls-Royce (RR.L), have invested in Vertical through a private investment in public capital transaction, the company said.

Microsoft’s venture fund M12, investment manager 40 North and venture capital firm Rocket Internet SE are also some of Vertical’s investors, the company said.

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