Low-cost arm of the Italian airline EasyJet unveils plans for operational trials in 2022 with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic
Italian airports are to conduct “flying taxi” tests in 2020, as part of Italian low-cost airline EasyJet’s plans to launch operations with former entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic in 2022.
EasyJet LCCs will use car-hailing applications to shuttle passengers to and from Rome’s Fiumicino airport, currently overcrowded for domestic flights in Rome and Turin, the company said.
The trials will see cars flying at speeds of 100km per hour and taking flight at 30,000 feet, said EasyJet, which already flies existing car-hailing platforms with a partnership with Ola.
The car will fly back to Turin airport after driving from the existing car park, which currently has no access to the flight terminal.
Branson is known for his dream of commercial electric aircraft, and introduced a form of that aircraft – the glider – to the world in 2015, when he took it on a cross-Atlantic flight from San Francisco to New York.
Currently there are no low-cost long-haul international services in Italy.
The first ultra low-cost domestic service in Italy is expected to launch later this year. It is likely to offer both one-way tickets and seat-belted flights, offering similar pricing to flights on Ryanair.
EasyJet currently serves 50 European airports, offering nine different services.