Irish aviation tycoon Dómhnal Slattery has been appointed as a special adviser to Bristol-based company Vertical Aerospace, which is developing electrically-powered aircraft, seen as a game changer in the quest for zero-emissions aviation.
Mr Slattery, the chief executive of aircraft leasing company Avolon, has been engaged to advise Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive and chairman of Vertical.
Avolon recently agreed a $2 billion (€1.6 billion) order for electric aircraft with Vertical. The agreement for 500 zero-emissions vertical take-off and landing (Evtol) planes will introduce the ultra-short-haul aircraft category to commercial aviation.
Avolon has established a new company, Avolon-e, to be the customer for the new aircraft, known as the VA-X4.
Vertical also appointed two independent non-executive directors, Kathy Cassidy and Gur Kimchi, to its board.
“I am thrilled to welcome Kathy and Gur to the Vertical board and to be working alongside Dómhnal in his new role as an adviser,”Mr Fitzpatrick said.
“Their collective experience across aviation, technology and the public markets will propel us forward on the next stage of our journey. I’m delighted to be working with them to make zero emissions aviation a reality for all,” he said.
Mr Slattery said Avolon’s confidence in Vertical is evident in “our equity investment in their PIPE and our commitment to the VA-X4 programme with our June order for 500 zero emissions aircraft”.
“Vertical has the largest order book in the sector, it has the vision, the right business model and the right leadership team. I look forward to playing a strong role in its future success,” he said.