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German air-taxi firm Lilium picks UK as tech base and promises 'hundreds' of new jobs

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
A digital representation of the Lilium landing pad in London. Image: Lilium

Munich-based air taxi company Lilium announced today that it will establish its new software team in London, and plans to create hundreds of new jobs in the British capital over the next five years.

“While we recognise that talent is global, London offers us access to a rich talent pool and an environment that’s well-suited to delivering the extraordinary.” Lilium’s chief commercial officer Remo Gerber said in a statement about why they had picked London as their digital base.

The German business, founded in 2015, unveiled its electric, five-seater vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jet in May. It claims the air taxi will be able to make journeys four times faster than a normal taxi.

Lilium is one of the growing number of companies racing to launch the first air-taxis. Rival German startup Volocopter said in February that it was working with Frankfurt’s airport operator to figure out how to integrate its air taxis into the airport’s infrastructure.

In March this year, Airbus announced it would begin testing its CityAirbus passenger drone in Bavaria from this summer.

READ MORE: Airbus to test flying taxis in Germany this summer

Lilium currently employs more than 300 people, and says hundreds of software engineering roles will be created London as part of its push to make “affordable, electric, on-demand air taxis a reality by 2025.”

Lilium has appointed former Just Eat CTO Carlos Morgado to lead the new London team as VP of Digital Technology. “Delivering Lilium’s vision of an on-demand air taxi service that customers can order directly from their smartphone will require software, and a team, that is almost unparalleled in its sophistication,” Morgado said.

Other high-profile hires include former Airbus executive Luca Benassi, who will be the new chief development engineer, and Anja Maassen from VodafoneZiggo, as the chief people officer.