Lilium and LAT will develop a Pilot Sourcing and Training program to qualify candidates to fly the Lilium ‘Jet’

Lilium, the Munich-based aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) for regional air mobility, has announced an industry-first partnership with Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT). Lilium and LAT will develop a Pilot Sourcing and Training program to qualify candidates to fly the Lilium ‘Jet’.

The first phase of the new program will consist of a Lilium type rating for qualified commercial pilots and will use technologies such as Mixed and Virtual Reality (MR/VR). The training program will be the first of its kind globally, and represents ‘a significant milestone’ on Lilium’s road to launch. As part of the initiative, the two companies will also work together with EASA and the FAA to develop a certification curriculum.

Commenting on the partnership, Remo Gerber, Chief Operating Officer of Lilium, said: “Opening a new professional segment for pilots of the future is a challenge we have long been excited to undertake, and Lufthansa Aviation Training is the perfect partner. Their dedication to forward-thinking training ensures that our candidates will be selected and trained to the highest calibre.”

Lilium has also announced that Tom Enders, the former CEO of Airbus, has joined its board. Enders, a veteran aviation manager with nearly thirty years of industry experience, stepped down from the top post at Airbus in 2019. With this move he joins a growing list of executives crossing over from major aerospace companies to start-ups operating in the sustainable transport and aviation market.

Lilium is currently valued at more than $1b, after raising $275m across two rounds of funding last year. It was founded in 2015 and aims to operate an all-electric eVTOL five-seater flying taxi with a range of 185 miles. It has already agreed deals to open its first transportation hub in Düsseldorf, with a second in Orlando, Florida scheduled for 2025. The company also has an agreement with Cologne Bonn airport for regional transportation in the area. Despite its success, Lilium has also received pointed criticism by the German aviation press, which has highlighted how several academics have questioned the performance data of its aircraft.

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