Flying taxi start-up plans to create ‘hundreds’ of London tech jobs

Lilium’s prototype electric taxi has a range of 300km in a single charger

Daniel Wiegand, founder and chief executive officer of Lilium. Photograph: Mary Turner/Bloomberg

Daniel Wiegand, founder and chief executive officer of Lilium. Photograph: Mary Turner/Bloomberg

 

Lilium, a Munich-based flying taxi start-up, plans to create “hundreds of high-end software engineering roles” at its new London hub over the next five years, in a boost to the UK capital’s technology sector.

The announcement on Tuesday comes just weeks after Lilium revealed its all-electric, five-seater prototype taxi, which takes off and lands vertically. Powered by 36 engines, Lilium said it has a range of 300km in one charge and a top speed of 300km/hr. Its flying taxis will be able to ferry passengers from London to Manchester in under an hour, according to the company’s website.

“We are one of very few companies in our sector that wants to both produce air taxis and then operate them day-to-day,” said Daniel Wiegand, chief executive.

Lilium, founded in 2015, has also appointed three new senior executives with the goal of making the group’s services “fully operational in several cities around the world by 2025”.

Luca Benassi, a former Airbus executive with experience at Boeing and NASA, has been named Lilium’s chief development engineer. Anja Maassen van den Brink, a Dutch executive from VodafoneZiggo, becomes chief people officer. Carlos Morgado, previously chief technology officer at Just Eat, will build Lilium’s digital platform.

“The recruitment of these three new leaders underlines our continuous efforts to build the very best team in air mobility,” added Mr Wiegand.

The start-up now has more than 300 employees and has raised more than $100m from investors including Atomico, Tencent, LGT, Freigeist and Obvious Ventures.

The air taxi market is expected to be worth $1.5tn a year by 2040, according to a recent report from Morgan Stanley, with passenger traffic comprising $851bn of that. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019