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Prototype passenger drone from Spanish company Crisalion. SUR
Prototype of first Spanish-built drone to fly passengers between Malaga Airport and Marbella unveiled
Transport

Prototype of first Spanish-built drone to fly passengers between Malaga Airport and Marbella unveiled

Basque company Crisalion will enter the aeronautical race to fly vertical take-off and landing aircraft along the Costa del Sol with the presentation of its first prototype in Malaga

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Tuesday, 4 June 2024

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The aeronautical race to be the first to offer routes aboard the so-called Vtol (vertical take-off and landing passenger drones that will initially be piloted) along the Costa del Sol is gathering speed. The first to position itself in this competition was German company Lilium, which is collaborating with Spain's ar traffic operator Enaire and the control tower of Malaga Airport to approve its aircraft, and which already has among its potential clients Hélity: the company responsible for helicopter routes between Malaga, Algeciras and Ceuta.

Now, a second competitor has landed, and in style. Spanish company Crisalion is entering the market with a big launch to present its first prototype in Malaga. In addition, the brand, which was born in the Basque Country and has the support of Spain's ministry of science, through the CDTI, has already signed a commercial agreement with iJet Aviation. This is a private flight operator based in Malaga, to create an air taxi route between the airport and Marbella as soon as possible. This was confirmed to SUR by a company spokesperson.

The presentation of Integrity, its proposed electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, will take place at the Aeronautical Museum (next to the private aviation terminal in Malaga) on 18 June. This has been one of the first European prototypes for passenger and cargo transport in urban and interurban environments and has successfully completed flight tests in the existing test centres in Villacarrillo (Jaén), Lugo and Toulouse.

The prototype and the agreement to start the airline on the Costa del Sol will be presented on 18 June at the Aeronautical Museum of Malaga

The Integrity model offers five passenger seats (plus the pilot), a range of 130 kilometres and a cruising speed of 180 km/h, making it possible to make the journey from Malaga Airport to Marbella in just 20 minutes. In addition, it has no emissions as it is 100% electric, low noise levels and minimal operating and maintenance costs.

iJet Aviation is a company based in Malaga city and offers private flights in various types of aircraft, as well as all kinds of maintenance services to aircraft owners.

Competition

The Malaga-Marbella-Estepona airport corridor is one of the areas of greatest interest for future operators in the aeronautical market on the Costa del Sol, where at least two business groups are already interested.

The proposal to be announced this month is in addition to that already advanced by German company Lilium, which is working with Enaire and Hélity to put this new technology into service on the Costa del Sol. In this case, it is initially estimated to cost approximately two euros per passenger for every kilometre of flight. Given Malaga Airport to Marbella is about 50 kilometres (according to Google Maps), the trip would cost 100 euros.

The company plans to deliver its first aircraft to customers in 2026. The Lilium Jet reaches a cruising speed of up to 250 kilometres per hour, with a maximum range of 250 kilometres (operating range of 175 km). With this data, the journey between Malaga Airport and Marbella will take just 15-20 minutes; and about 35-40 minutes to Granada.

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