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Skyportz launches ‘e-airline’ for future air taxi services

written by Jake Nelson | April 16, 2024

Skyportz plans to use Electra.Aero eSTOL aircraft for its “Wilbur Air” services. (Image: Skyportz)

Electric air taxi company Skyportz has launched a new airline subsidiary intending to operate electric and hybrid aircraft from its future vertiports.

Dubbed “Wilbur Air”, the “e-airline” will have priority access to the Skyportz vertiport network, with a “range of aircraft partners” to provide services including short- and long-range passenger transport and heavy-lift drone deliveries.

The first partner, US-based Electra.Aero, will supply Australia’s first 100 electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft, said Skyportz founder and CEO Clem Newton-Brown.

“We see great potential for the Electra.Aero aircraft in Australia given its unique long-range capacity. We will have some further announcements soon regarding additional aircrafts that will suit a range of uses that we intend to operate,” he said.

Marc Ausman, Electra’s chief product officer, said the aircraft will help address Australia’s “distinct aviation needs”.


“Our sustainable eSTOL aircraft is perfectly suited for Australia’s diverse geography, with its ability to access short airstrips in both urban and remote areas, while offering exceptional operational efficiency.

“Electra looks forward to supporting Wilbur Air in enhancing regional connectivity, accessibility, and environmental stewardship throughout Australia.”

Skyportz last year announced a partnership with Electro.Aero, an unrelated battery and aircraft charging company, to develop a “vertiport in a box” solution. According to Newton-Brown, Skyportz is looking to enable property owners to install vertiports at their sites.

“There is enormous interest from the property industry to help us break the nexus between aviation and airports. In the future commercial and industrial landholders could be able to establish mini airports and vertistops to become part of the Skyportz network,” he said.

“We are working with governments, air regulators and communities to establish the parameters for the introduction of vertiport infrastructure and short take-off and landing runways.

“If all the aircraft do is fly from airports and helipads then there will be no revolution. We need to start developing vertiports in new locations now.”

The announcement comes as the Australian Association for Uncrewed Systems (AAUS), the peak body for advanced air mobility (AAM) in Australia, released a roadmap for Australia’s AAM industry.

The vision document predicts the first AAM aircraft will be operational in the country by 2027, for uses such as air tourism, mail and aeromedical services, and low-volume scheduled passenger transport.

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