Advanced autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) manufacturer EHang has signed a contract with Malaysian company Aerotree to develop urban air mobility (UAM) services in the country, with the purchase of 60 passenger aircraft as a key part of the deal.
The companies said the agreement involves Aerotree buying 50 EHang two-passenger EH216 series AAVs – matching the order the Guangzhou-based firm secured in January with Japanese helicopter services company AirX as it prepares for UAM operation. In addition, Aerotree has committed to acquiring 10 VT30 fixed wing AAVs, which take off vertically and cruise with horizontal thrust. The Malaysian company had previously placed an order for a single EH216.
The deal calls for EHang and Aerotree to promote, develop, and implement AAV operations through a mix of UAM services that include passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, firefighting, and logistics in Malaysia. As part of that, Aerotree plans to launch and oversee its own next-generation aerial transportation networks using EHang EH216-S, EH216-L, and EH216-F aircraft.
Aerotree’s established activity covers a wide area of aviation and aerospace services, including special training, technology development, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). Relying on its experience in those areas, Aerotree will use EHang AAVs and work with the Chinese company to merge their respective strengths to support broader UAM operations in Malaysia.
“We are very excited about our strategic partnership with EHang to introduce the world’s leading safe, sustainable, and autonomous aerial vehicles to the Malaysian market,” said Aerotree managing director Dato’ Halim Bin Othman. “Leveraging our full spectrum of capabilities and partnerships that span from MRO to training, we eagerly anticipate using EHang AAVs for Malaysia’s UAM projects and civil aviation.”
For its part, EHang will seek to use the new Aerotree partnership and AAV order – its largest ever in Malaysia – to continue building on the momentum it has attained across Asia in its push to become a leader in looming UAM services.
“We are pleased to enter the Malaysian market and increase our presence there through our cooperation with Aerotree,” said Huazhi Hu, Founder, EHang CEO. “Our comprehensive AAV products and solutions are well suited to a variety of intracity and intercity UAM use cases in Malaysia, such as passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, aerial firefighting and aerial logistics. The rising demand and pre-orders for a large number of our passenger-grade AAVs from Japan and Malaysia will unleash great market potential for EHang in Asia.”