Skyports explores viability of flying taxi network in Malaysia

Skyports Malaysia Image credit: Skyports / AirAsia

Drone infrastructure company Skyports has partnered with airline operator AirAsia to investigate the potential for a flying taxi network in Malaysia.

The British company is assessing potential sites to build vertiports, a landing pad used by electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

A spokesperson for Skyports told UKTN that its long-term plan with partners such as AirAsia is to develop vertiport networks.

The spokesperson added that these assessments and the development of regulations with AirAsia are required before trials begin.

“With innovative and forward-looking partners like AirAsia, we will be able to take concrete steps towards the realisation of a safe, efficient and fully-integrated air taxi network which brings real benefits to the people and communities it serves,” said Mr Yun-Yuan Tay, head of Asia Pacific, Skyports.

Headquartered in London, Skyports plans and constructs the infrastructure required in vertiports alongside its drone services division.

Last month it announced trials to deliver school meals using drones.

AirAsia recently announced it will be leasing 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Dublin-based Avolon.

Captain Ling Liong Tien, chief safety officer and head of advanced air mobility, AirAsia Aviation Group Limited said: “This partnership with Skyports will accelerate the review of the infrastructure including vertical take-off and landing platforms in the country as well as strengthen our potential as a zero-emissions ultra-short-haul air travel provider in Southeast Asia.”

The drone operator founded in 2018, has additional projects in Paris, London and Los Angeles.

In March, Skyports raised $23m (£18.9m) in the first close of its Series B round. It has partnered with Royal Mail to deliver the UK’s first parcel delivered by drone.

This comes as the government has unveiled a £273m funding package for the aerospace sector in the UK.