General Industry

Electric Air Taxi Start-Up Joby To Add LinkedIn Co-Founder To Its Board; Teams Up With JetBlue To Create Credits For Clean Flight Technology; Air Taxi Start-Up Volocopter Gains Key Production Certification

By Dave Simpson
Electric Air Taxi Start-Up Joby To Add LinkedIn Co-Founder To Its Board; Teams Up With JetBlue To Create Credits For Clean Flight Technology; Air Taxi Start-Up Volocopter Gains Key Production Certification

Electric air taxi startup Joby Aero Inc will add LinkedIn Reid Hoffman and executives from Google and Toyota to its board, as the company prepares to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm.

Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) headed by LinkedIn co-founder Hoffman, Zynga founder Mark Pincus and longtime investor Michael Thompson, is taking the 12-year-old company public in a $6.6 billion reverse merger.

Apart from Hoffman, the other members to be added to the board include Google General Counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado, Toyota Motor Corp board member and operating officer James Kuffner, and former Southwest Airlines CFO Laura Wright.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, following which the combined company will be called Joby Aviation Inc and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Joby's electric aircraft is expected to operate as part of an air taxi service beginning in 2024.


Joby And JetBlue Team Up To Create Credits For Clean Flight Technology

The above news follows news that Joby, JetBlue Airways Corp and Signature Flight Support have said that they are teaming up to develop aviation carbon credits for using electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies.

The move, which aligns with the US aviation industry's goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, includes the companies deciding on how the credits will be created, validated and used in the aviation carbon market.

In May, US lawmakers in planned to introduce a bill that would create a tax credit for lower-carbon sustainable aviation fuel, which they hope will slash emissions of greenhouse gases from the aviation industry.

"This partnership allows JetBlue...evolve the type of offsets we purchase and help support the development of electric and hydrogen aviation - critical levers for meeting the U.S. aviation industry's net-zero goals," head of sustainability and environmental social governance at JetBlue Sara Bogdan said.

While electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies are in their nascent stages, operations using those technologies will begin to reduce emissions in the short-haul category on a per-seat-mile basis, the companies said.


California-headquartered Joby is developing an electric aircraft that it intends to operate as an air taxi service, while Signature Flight offers services such as refuelling and maintenance.

Air Taxi Start-Up Volocopter Gains Key Production Certification

In other air taxi news, German flying taxi start-up Volocopter has said that it is acquiring long-time partner DG Flugzeugbau, in a step that secures its compliance with the European Union air safety regulator's production standards.

The acquisition, the terms of which were not disclosed, means that Bruchsal-based Volocopter now has production organisation approval in compliance with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in addition to existing EASA design approval.

"Volocopter is now the first and only electric vertical take-off and landing company holding both the required design and production organisation approvals to advance its aircraft towards commercial launch," it said in a statement.

Volocopter hopes to bring its two-seater flying taxi, which looks like an oversized drone, into regular service in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics. It is also developing a similar cargo-lift drone.


It recently raised €200 million to fund its push for certification. Well-funded rivals Lilium and Joby, as mentioned above, have meanwhile announced plans to float on the US stock market by merging with listed shell companies.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.