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IN Tune: Ready for Takeoff: Urban Air Mobility Takes Flight

Research & Strategy May 28, 2021
Research & Strategy May 28, 2021
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IN Tune is a podcast featuring Equity Research analysts from BMO Capital Markets. Our episodes explore key emerging themes, trends, and issues which are important to our institutional clients globally.  

This episode is hosted by Fadi Chamoun, CFA, Transportation Analyst, BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and John Stephenson, P.Eng., CFA, Special Projects Contributor, BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.

Congested urban landscapes and overburdened ground infrastructures are about to be transformed with a new form of transportation, a scheduled or on-demand air taxi service that can whisk passengers along faster, safer, and less expensively than the alternatives. Improvements in battery technology and distributed electric propulsion and leaps in aerospace technology have given rise to electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

We expect that the first commercial flights of these innovative new aircraft should begin in late 2023 and that the likely first use case is as a scheduled airport shuttle. The leading startups have already attracted $3.2 billion in venture capital, and major brands such as Airbus, Boeing, Hyundai, and Porsche are pursuing their own urban air mobility solutions. We estimate that the total addressable market for eVTOLs could be more than $1.25 trillion by 2035.

We believe that eVTOLs can be more than competitive with cars or even pooled car services. At annual production volumes of 5,000 units or more, we estimate that a given eVTOL type can be about 390% and 190% cheaper on a per passenger mile basis than UberX and UberPool, respectively.

We anticipate that eVTOL aircraft will be operated by commercial pilots meeting high safety and recurring training standards. We project eVTOL could require 66,000 additional pilots over the coming decade, expanding the current addressable market by 25%.

We believe that Outperform-rated CAE will be a key beneficiary of this new dimension of transportation —urban air mobility.


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