South Korean startup MintAir is partnering with Dallas-based electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft company Jaunt Air Mobility to develop advanced air mobility (AAM) services across the Southeast Asian nation.
The companies announced the formation of their strategic partnership this week. As part of the partnership, MintAir agreed to order up to 40 of Jaunt’s Journey eVTOL copters in their joint effort to plan, prepare, and eventually launch AAM services in markets across South Korea. The deal also shores up Mint’s status as exclusive customer of Jaunt aircraft in the country.
Founded in 2014 specializing in super heat conductor production, Mint pivoted its interests in 2020 to the development of next generation urban air mobility, with a particular focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) management of the activity.
Since then, it has been working on bringing AAM transport to South Korea, most recently as a part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s K-UAM Grand Challenge. That program pursues all aspects of next generation air activity, including operation, traffic management, and vertiport construction.
“Our mission is to develop the safest Advanced Air Mobility service in both urban and rural environments based on sound ESG management,” said Eugene Choi, CEO of MintAir. “Jaunt Air Mobility is committed to those same principles throughout the aircraft’s lifecycle. And we are confident the Jaunt Journey will transport the public with the highest level of safety.”
For its part, Jaunt is advancing work on the design and certification of its Journey eVTOL, whose incorporation of Slowed Rotor Compound (SRC) technologies and use of a single main blade – like a helicopter – fits MintAir’s strict AAM requirements.
The partners say that configuration provides enhanced safety through autorotation, energy-saving efficiency, and lower operating costs. They’re also convinced the soundness and effectiveness of that approach creates a clear and fast path to eventual certification – and thus a quicker launch of their AAM services.
“The Jaunt Journey’s aircraft design offers the safest air taxi configuration that is operationally efficient, quiet, and sustainable,” says Martin Peryea, Jaunt CEO.
Jaunt says Journey eVTOL aircraft in its partnership with MintAir will be constructed in Canada, with their operation in South Korea providing an ideal launching pad for the company’s AAM ambitions around the globe.
“We are pleased to team with MintAir to bring this new form of advanced air transportation to the Korean markets,” said Simon Briceno, chief commercial officer for Jaunt. “We are excited to showcase our safe and efficient aircraft to the Korean public.”