PLANA, a developer of hybrid advanced air mobility (AAM) eVTOL aircraft, signed a letter of intent (LOI) and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hi-Air, a South Korean commercial air carrier, to supply 30 AAM aircraft.
Under the LOI, PLANA will supply its hybrid-electric AAM aircraft, CP-01, to Hi-Air from 2030. The first 10 aircraft will be delivered in 2031, with the remaining 20 to be delivered later.
PLANA also has LOIs with Ghenus Air in the United States and SkyTaxi in Japan to supply 20 and 50 aircraft, respectively.
Hi-Air is South Korea’s leading small-scale air operator license holder for small-scale air transport services. The company was founded in 2019 and started operations from Ulsan Airport. Hi-Air currently operates flights to Gimpo, Muan, Suncheon, and Jeju. In 2022, Hi-Air became the first commercial air carrier in South Korea to reach 500,000 cumulative passengers. The company recently launched a new route between Muan and Kitakyushu, Japan.
Under the MOU, PLANA and Hi-Air will jointly develop business models for passenger and cargo transportation, based on the AAM aircraft. The companies expect to create synergies by leveraging their respective expertise in aircraft operation and development.
PLANA also recently signed an MOU with Gloria Aviation to develop a joint business and train AAM industry talent. Gloria Aviation is the first to operate an aviation-specialized school in Korea, and based on its know-how, it conducts various aviation-related education and research as well as training pilots and maintenance technicians.
PLANA’s CP-01 will use all-electric propulsion (6 tilt-rotors), with a battery system and a turbine generator running SAF providing the electricity. With a payload capacity of up to 6 passengers, CP-01 is envisioned to have a range of 500 km (excluding reserve miles), with a cruise speed of 300 km/h.
PLANA anticipates CP-01 use cases will be similar to the existing helicopter market.