UK eVTOL startup Vertical Aerospace is to merge with special-purpose acquisition company Broadstone Acquisition and become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. The pro forma implied enterprise value of the combined company is $2.2 billion.

American Airlines, Microsoft’s M12, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce and others will take stakes in Vertical through private investment in public equity, or PIPE transactions.

One investor, Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon, has placed a $2 billion conditional order for up to 500 Vertical aircraft. Additionally Virgin Atlantic and Vertical say they will explore a joint venture to develop the launch of Virgin Atlantic branded short haul eVTOL network in the UK.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical CEO and Founder, says, “This is the most exciting time in aviation for almost a century; electrification will transform flying in the 21st century in the same way the jet engine did 70 years ago. Today’s announcement brings together some of the largest and most respected technology and aeronautical businesses in the world and together we can achieve our aim of making the VA-X4 the first zero carbon aircraft that most people will fly on.”

Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, adds, “We are excited to be partnering with Vertical Aerospace to pioneer sustainable and zero emissions air travel in the UK. We pride ourselves on building enduring strategic partnerships and are thrilled to be working alongside Vertical in its mission to bring eVTOL travel to the UK. Our partnership includes an option for Virgin Atlantic to acquire up to 150 eVTOL aircraft and exploration of a Joint Venture to bring short haul, electric vehicle connectivity to cities and our UK airport hubs, starting with London Heathrow as well as Manchester and London Gatwick.”