Japan Airlines and Sumitomo Corporation Sign Agreement to Develop the Air Mobility Industry with Bell

Japan Airlines and Sumitomo Corporation Sign Agreement to Develop the Air Mobility Industry with Bell

Sumitomo (Japan) - Exploring Business Opportunities of Air Mobility Services in Asia Utilizing eVTOL.

Japan Airlines (JAL) and Sumitomo Corporation entered into a cooperation agreement with Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. to promote the development of the Air Mobility Industry, including the infrastructure for next generation air transportation methods.

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.  With this agreement, jointly and collectively, JAL, Sumitomo and Bell will explore business opportunities for the air mobility services, deploying Bell’s eVTOL in Japan and Asia.

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

Outline of the Cooperation Agreement:

  • Market research in Japan and Asia for mobility service utilizing eVTOL
  • Study mobility services operation platform, including Air-Taxi service
  • Promote activities to solve the issues to realize eVTOL operation, including safety, noise, and social acceptance
  • Approach related companies and organizations to promote the Air Mobility business

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

Sumitomo Corporation will deeply 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.

Bell was founded in 1935 and for more than 80 years, it has been a leader in the industry producing vertical lift aircraft. Bell was the first to certify a commercial helicopter and has a name brand that is widely recognized around the world.  Bell remains at the forefront of this air mobility pursuit with a clear mission of finding solutions to the infrastructure challenges of tomorrow’s transportation networks.

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