The race among eVTOL manufacturers to get next-generation air-taxi aircraft authorized is closely followed by another group of companies like Uber and Lyft who announced plans to become air mobility service providers by managing eVTOL aerial fleets that would allow consumer air-taxi usage in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Some eVTOL companies want to do it themselves, like Joby Aviation which owns Uber Elevate and plans to operate its own service. Others, that currently provide helicopter services, are in the process of preparing infrastructure, fleet management and customer service technology to be ready for eVTOLs when they become available. One such example is Blade Urban Air Mobility, which operates services in numerous US cities and prepares to launch operations in India.
Halo is a helicopter operator in the United Kingdom, owned by OneSky Flight, which currently operates private jet services under the labels Flexjet, Sentient Jet, FXAir and PrivateFly and has announced eVTOLs’ mass purchase plans in order to begin operations with zero-emissions in New York and London in 2026.
Halo has selected Embraer spin-off Eve aircraft manufacturer and has placed an order for 200 Eve eVTOLs. Eve airframe has а lift and cruise design. The wings end with longitudinally mounted propulsion pods with a pair of vertical lift props (3.3 ft). All eight lift props do not tilt in a vectored thrust configuration, but instead Eve propels forward by a pair of huge ducted fans on the rear wing.
Halo believes the aircraft design, certification and manufacture provided by Embraer gives Eve a huge competitive advantage. Product support is also critical to the overall success of new initiatives. Another factor is that Eve has already been heavily involved in the process of creating airspace management and aviation rules to deal with the predicted influx of eVTOL air-taxis that will gradually begin to flood the skies in the coming decades.
Deliveries are anticipated to begin in 2026 provided certification and manufacturing go as planned. Halo predictions are to allocate 100 aircraft to UK and US each when they first go on sale. Prices have not been released and Halo will continue to operate its traditional helicopter fleet until the electric aircraft are ready to fly.