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Lilium takes to Brazilian skies after signing $1 billion deal with Azul

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German electric jet start-up company Lilium announced on Monday that it will be entering a $1 billion commercial deal with Brazilian airline Azul.

Lilium takes to Brazilian skies

The partnership will see 220 of Lilium’s jets, which are designed to take off and land vertically, in Brazilian skies within the next five years.

The initiative is part of a new electric vehicle take off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft network which could radically change high speed regional travel for the country.

Daniel Wiegand, Co-Founder and CEO of Lilium says the partnership will bring further success to the Brazilian aircraft company.

“Azul has brought convenient and affordable air travel to underserved markets across the Americas and this makes them an ideal partner for Lilium,” says Wiegand.

“We’re excited to work with Azul’s seasoned team to deploy a co-branded eVTOL network in Brazil.”

The seven-seater jets are expected to cost $4.5 million to produce, according to CNBC who spoke with Alex Asseily, Lilium’s chief strategy officer. 

Additionally, they’re expected to reach speeds of 175 miles an hour, while covering a 155 mile range.

Lilium seven-seater passenger jets to transform travel

Brazil is home to one of the world’s leading civilian helicopter and business aviation markets that sees close to 100 million domestic passengers annually.

Because of this, John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul, says they have the full potential to implement the eVTOL market in the country as the demand for it exists. 

“Our brand presence, our unique route network, and our powerful loyalty program give us the tools to create the markets and demand for the Lilium Jet network in Brazil,” Rodgerson says.

“As we did in the Brazilian domestic market over the last 13 years, we look forward to again, now with the Lilium Jet, working to create a whole new market in the years to come.”

Since Azul’s founding in 2008, Chairman David Neeleman says the Brazilian Aviation market has since doubled with the company, capturing almost 60 percent of the growth. 

“We know how to create and grow new markets, and once again we see a huge market opportunity by bringing the Lilium Jet to Brazil.”

 

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Business

EU plans to force USB-C chargers for all phones

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EU plans to make USB-C connectors the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, angering Apple

The European Commission rules to force manufacturers to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices. The European Commission is aiming to have a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, and handheld videogame consoles.

The ruling has been in the making for a decade, with environmental concerns the main driving force behind the historic move.

Reducing waste

The rule will reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device. Politicians have been pushing for this uni9versal charging rule for over a decade.

Disposed and unused charging cables generate approximately 11,000 tonnes of waste per year.  Research shows the average person owns around three mobile phone chargers.

A decade ago there were about 30 different types of chargers, now, phones use either USB-C, lightning, and USB micro-B.

Rotten Apple

The move would see all smartphones in the EU sold with the same charger, a motion Apple is not happy about. The tech giant says this move would damage ongoing innovation.

The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector. Apple argues its Lightning connector is used by one billion active iPhone users.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,”

Apple spokesperson

The proposed changes would apply to the charging port on the device body and will also standardise charging speeds. It may be a number of years before the proposals come into effect.

It will be thoroughly debated by the European Parliament and national Governments.

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Facebook CTO resigns as Zuckerburg announces replacement

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Facebook is about to close an important chapter in its history

In some major news, the social network’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer is stepping down from his role after a total 13 years at the company.

He’ll move to a part-time position as Facebook’s first Senior Fellow at some point in 2022.

CEO Mark Zuckerburg has now appointed hardware lead Andrew Bosworth to be the new CTO.

Schroepfer first joined Facebook in 2008 as a vice president of engineering. He took the CTO position in 2013.

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American plane maker to open major factory in Australia

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Major US-based aircraft maker, Boeing is heading for Australia’s sunshine state

The new Boeing manufacturing facility is planned to be built at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport in an Australian first.

The facility would be involved in manufacturing the Loyal Wingman unmanned aircraft for the Royal Australia Air Force.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated that the Boeing project would bring more than 300 jobs to the area, and was ‘very welcome’

The Queensland Government also confirmed that the interior of the aircraft manufactured at the new site would be painted maroon and stamped with “Made In Queensland”.

The Loyal Wingman is an unmanned aircraft but works alongside crewed aircraft, with Defence currently examining how it will be deployed once it’s put into use.

The new facility isn’t the first to be opened and operated by Boeing, with the plane maker also operating sites across Australia’s east coast, including in major cities; Melbourne and Sydney.

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