Texas-based Jaunt Air Mobility has signed a letter of intent with Canadian vertiport developer Vertiko Mobility that could see at least 70 of its Jaunt Journey eVTOL aircraft used for air taxi services in Quebec.

Jaunt said its goal is to firm up its contract with Vertiko in the second quarter of 2025, with operations expected to start in 2026.

After the contract has been signed, Jaunt expects to use the first year as a “break-in” period where the eVTOL company will provide training for the 36 pilots needed to fly the first nine aircraft during the first year of operations. Under the same agreement, Jaunt will also provide aircraft maintenance.

Vertiko said it will build five vertiports from now until the end of March 2025 in order to meet its 2026 launch date.

The agreement with Vertiko is the latest move for Jaunt as it continues to build its presence in Canada. Jaunt also turned to Montreal to open a design and manufacturing facility, as well as a research and development facility.

“Each new phase that we complete is a further step in the right direction in positioning Quebec as a leader in this new market segment,” said Éric Côté, president of Jaunt Canada. “The favorable environment we’re creating benefits not only us, but also all of the players who will be involved in defining this transit mode of the future.”

Jaunt is developing an all-electric and hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft for passenger services, cargo delivery, military missions or medical transport. The all-electric aircraft is targeting a range of up to 200km and a speed of 280 km/h, for a pilot and four passengers. Its hybrid-electric model is expected to offer a range of around 320km.

The company is aiming to start testing its full-scale demonstrator in 2023 and is targeting to receive certification with Canadian aviation authorities by 2026.