Luxury VIP chauffeur service Naylam Technologies is adding advanced air mobility to its list of transportation options.
Naylam has entered into an agreement with Manta Aircraft Italia to eventually fly VIP passengers on the Manta ANN family of light, hybrid-electric vertical and short takeoff and landing (VTOL/STOL) aircraft, the companies announced July 13. Under the deal, aircraft deliveries would begin in 2026 or 2027.
Manta is developing a range of hybrid-electric VTOL/STOL aircraft, including the two-seat ANN2 and multi-seat ANN Plus, as well as a high-performance drone called ANNDrone. Naylam said it plans to use a fleet of 10 ANN Plus aircraft to provide air mobility services in regions where it already provides ground transportation options. The company currently operates in England, Egypt, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, and specializes in luxury airport transfers and city-to-city transportation.
The ANN Plus can seat one pilot and up to five passengers. Naylam plans to use a four-passenger-seat version of the ANN Plus, Manta head of marketing and co-founder Michael Mesaric told FutureFlight. “The goal is to create new regional point-to-point connections up to several hundred kilometers—be it an airport pickup and direct flight to a distant golf resort, business trip to save time, or combination of ground and air travel to design tailor-made trips efficiently,” Mesaric said.
Manta’s ANN family of aircraft will offer a range between 300 and 900 km (190 to 560 miles) and will have a high cruising speed of more than 300 km/h (190 mph).
The aircraft will be able to switch between VTOL and STOL flying modes, depending on range requirements and available infrastructure at the takeoff and landing sites. Further, Manta aims to eventually transition the hybrid-electric aircraft to be fully electric or hydrogen-powered as the available technology behind those options advances.
So far Manta has only conducted test flights with a one-third-scale model of its planned ANN2, and it plans to assemble the first full-scale prototypes in early 2023. The company has been working with Italy’s civil aviation authority to prepare the ANN for type certification under EASA’s special conditions eVTOL rules.
Manta has not yet revealed the cost of the ANN Plus, nor has Naylam disclosed the expected pricing for its air transportation services.