Volocopter this week started taking reservations for flights in its VoloCity eVTOL aircraft. Exhibiting an example of the all-electric two-seat aircraft at the Greentech Festival in Berlin, the German company announced that members of the public can reserve a 15-minute flight by placing a 10 percent deposit on the €300 ($357) fare.
The flights will be made within 12 months of the date when VoloCity starts commercial operations as part of Volocopter’s planned air taxi service. The company is targeting service launch by early 2023, initially with a pilot on board and then eventually shifting to autonomous operations. It says that the location for initial flights will be revealed closer to the start of commercial services.
Early passengers will receive a video of their flight and a personalized certificate. “While the final certification for air taxis is still pending, we do have a detailed realistic timeline to launch commercial VoloCity flights in the next two to three years,” said Volocopter chief commercial officer Christian Bauer. “Moreover, those who reserve now can receive the latest updates about our progress and the commercial launch plan.”
The Volocity will be operated on short flights of up to around 22 miles around urban areas at a maximum speed of 69 mph. Early examples of the aircraft have already made public flights in Stuttgart, Singapore, and Dubai.
Initially, only 1,000 flight reservations are available through an offer that will raise up to €300,000 for Volocopter. In February 2020, German logistics group DB Schenker led a €87 million ($104 million) Series C funding round that took the total capital raised by the startup, which was formed in 2011, to around €122 million.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the company, which is based in southern Germany, has been able to continue flight testing of the VoloCity prototype. It says that it introduced safety measures to take account of government health regulations.