DALLAS – A new deal between Delta Air Lines (DL) and startup Joby Aviation could make zero-emission, last-mile taxi service available to customers flying through Los Angeles and New York.
Under this new deal, Delta will partner with Joby to provide home-to-airport transportation for passengers. The Atlanta-based carrier will also invest an initial US$60m with a potential total investment of US$200m.
Delta had been the last holdout among major US airlines in investing in an ascending market for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Airlines such as American Airlines, United, Air Asia, and other carriers have ordered hundreds of eVTOL aircraft in hopes of offering passengers to and from airports.
This deal is not only for over a hundred eVTOL aircraft. Joby and Delta agreed to a five-year exclusivity agreement starting at the commercial launch. This will give Delta a premium air taxi product in major markets such as Los Angeles and New York. DL’s new air taxi service will exist alongside Joby’s regular airport service in priority areas.
Comments from Delta Air Lines, Joby Officials
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said, “We’ve found in Joby a partner that shares our pioneering spirit and commitment to delivering innovative, seamless experiences that are better for our customers, their journeys and our world….This is a groundbreaking opportunity for Delta to deliver a time-saving, uniquely premium home-to-airport solution for customers in key markets in which we’ve been investing and innovating for many years.”
Joby Aviation Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said, “We share Delta’s unwavering commitment to delivering seamless and sustainable journeys to customers…Their history of innovation, along with their vast operational expertise and leadership on climate change, make them incredible partners for Joby, and it’s an honor to be working alongside them.”
In May 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave Joby an air carrier certification under Part 135 rules. This allows Joby to operate commercial air taxi flights using small aircraft. Currently, Joby is developing an eVTOL airliner that can seat four passengers, hoping to roll the plane into service by 2024.
Featured image: Joby Aviation eVTOL aircraft prototype. Photo: Joby Aviation