Vertical Enters the Business Aviation Market With Aircraft Pre-order From FLYINGGROUP

  • FLYINGGROUP pre-orders up to 50 VX4 aircraft
  • Increases Vertical’s eVTOL pre-order book to up to 1,400 aircraft
  • Expands Vertical’s customer base to include the business aviation market

Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering electric aviation, announces today that FLYINGGROUP, one of Europe’s leading business jet operators, has conditionally pre-ordered up to 50 VX4 aircraft.

FLYINGGROUP, which began operations in Antwerp in 1995, operates from aircraft bases across Europe and the Middle East. Currently managing 45 conventional aircraft, today’s pre-order announcement forms part of FLYINGGROUP’s new approach to sustainable aviation, embedding zero emissions transport options into its fleet. The integration of the VX4 into its existing services will provide their customers with a sustainable, innovative, and efficient regional air mobility alternative and transform their first and last 100-mile journeys.

Vertical has already sold its VX4 to a diverse range of customers including aircraft lessors, airlines, and helicopter operators, including American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon and Bristow. Today’s announcement represents Vertical’s first commercial agreement within the business aviation market, a further demonstration of the significant market demand for the VX4. This partnership increases Vertical’s conditional pre-order book to up to 1,400 aircraft with a total value of $5.6bn.

The two parties have agreed to launch a Joint Working Group (JWG) to begin exploring FLYINGGROUP’s application of using the VX4 in the business aviation market, including individual ownership, low volume operation and fractional ownership. The JWG will also explore the terms and conditions of a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service centre, potentially granting FLYINGGROUP the right to perform MRO services for their fleet and to support their private sales.

The piloted zero operating emissions four-passenger VX4, is projected to be capable of travelling distances of 100 miles (160 km), at a top speed of 200mph (320km/h), while producing minimal noise and has a low cost per passenger mile.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder & CEO, Vertical Aerospace, said “We are delighted to partner with FLYINGGROUP to change the way people travel throughout the business aviation market. With this provisional pre-order, FLYINGGROUP can look to a future where they can continue to provide quality to business clients - but now with zero emissions.”

Bernard Van Milders, Founder of FLYINGGROUP, said “Now that we’re also enabling flexible and energy-efficient regional travel, we are honoured to partner with Vertical’s team and their state-of-the-art aircraft. Going electric is the next big step in our sustainability plan. Not only will we be expanding our fleet with the most advanced electric eVTOLs; we will be able to accommodate our clients and guests with the newest zero-carbon ‘door-to-door’ private and business aviation. By connecting airports with cities and ports, FLYINGGROUP is bringing a new wave of business travel to corporations and individuals.”

About Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.

Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book by value for a total of up to 1,400 aircraft from global customers creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. Customers include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni, Iberojet and FLYINGGROUP, as well as Japan Airlines (JAL), Gol, Air Greenland, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements.

Vertical’s ordinary shares and warrants commenced trading on the NYSE in December 2021 under the tickers “EVTL” and “EVTLW,” respectively.

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FLYINGGROUP has been active since 1995 from Antwerp, where the head office is also located. Over the years, the company has expanded its activities to other airbases in Europe and the Middle East (Brussels, Kortrijk-Wevelgem, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Luxembourg, Paris, Malta and Dubai).

FLYINGGROUP takes care of the entire management of its customers’ business aircraft, including maintenance, CAMO, certification, crew management, charter sales and flight operations. The pursuit of high-quality service has led to ever-increasing customer confidence. As a result, the company is a reference in private and business aviation in Europe.

FLYINGGROUP currently manages 45 aircraft, fifteen of which are based in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2021, 12,739 flight hours were performed. The consolidated turnover amounted to more than 110 million euros in the previous financial year.

FLYINGGROUP has more than 233 experienced employees worldwide, including 135 crewmembers and 90 people work at the group’s head office in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any express or implied statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the certification and the commercialization of the VX4 and related timelines, the differential strategy compared to its peer group, and the transition towards a net-zero emissions economy, expected financial performance and operational performance for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022, as well as statements that include the words “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “project,” “forecast,” “estimate,” “may,” “should,” “anticipate,” “will,” “aim,” “potential,” “continue,” “are likely to” and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature. Forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, without limitation: Vertical’s limited operating history without manufactured non-prototype aircraft or completed eVTOL aircraft customer order; Vertical’s history of losses and the expectation to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future; the market for eVTOL aircraft being in a relatively early stage; the potential inability of Vertical to produce or launch aircraft in the volumes and on timelines projected; the potential inability of Vertical to obtain the necessary certifications on the timelines projected; any accidents or incidents involving eVTOL aircraft could harm Vertical’s business; Vertical’s dependence on partners and suppliers for the components in its aircraft and for operational needs; the potential that certain of Vertical’s strategic partnerships may not materialize into long-term partnership arrangements; pre-orders Vertical has received for its aircraft are conditional and may be terminated at any time in writing prior to certain specified dates; any potential failure by Vertical to effectively manage its growth; the impact of COVID-19 on Vertical’s business; Vertical has identified material weaknesses in its internal controls over financial reporting and may be unable to remediate the material weaknesses; Vertical’s dependence on our senior management team and other highly skilled personnel; as a foreign private issuer Vertical follows certain home country corporate governance rules, is not subject to U.S. proxy rules and is subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company; and the other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on April 29, 2022, as such factors may be updated from time to time in Vertical’s other filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and accordingly undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Vertical disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than to the extent required by applicable law.


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