Airbus and Ecocopter sign MOU on Latin American UAM


Airbus and Ecocopter are partnering on the launch of UAM services across Latin America. The two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding in what “is a major step toward the co-creation of a functioning” UAM ecosystem in the region.

Air mobility operations will be explored, notably in Ecuador, Chile and Peru, including targeting first use cases and pilot regions.

Marcelo Rajchman, Ecocopter’s Corporate CEO, said: “With already 20 years of experience operating helicopters and 5 years operating drones, this partnership is a natural step for us. We seek to be a relevant player in the UAM ecosystem and the projects we will develop together with Airbus will bring us closer to this goal.”

Established in 2003, Ecocopter specialises in complex aerial work missions in South America. Its fleet of Airbus helicopters, consisting of 16 H125s, two H135s, and three H145s perform missions including offshore transport, mining support, medical evacuation and firefighting.

Balkiz Sarihan, Airbus, head of Partnerships & Strategy Execution, UAM, added: “We are excited to extend our long standing relationship with Ecocopter. Together we are taking concrete steps in the co-creation of the UAM ecosystem and our decarbonisation roadmap. This partnership leverages Airbus’ expertise in innovative vertical flight technologies, and Ecocopter’s extensive operational history and innovative culture.”

In September 2021, Airbus unveiled its eVTOL prototype CityAirbus NextGen, with an operational range of 80km and a cruise speed of 120km/h. The firm also just announced the construction of a dedicated centre to test NextGen’s systems in the lead up to its maiden flight.