Supernal and Korean Air announce strategic partnership

Korean Air Supernal

Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal, and Kee-Hong Woo, CEO, Korean Air, signed off on their partnership in a ceremony during Seoul ADEX on Monday.

Korean Air is partnering with Supernal to speed development of the eVTOL developer’s aircraft and surrounding AAM ecosystem.

The strategic partnership will see the firms exchange technical data and jointly undertake workshops and programmes to help develop an AAM ecosystem. Korean Air will provide insights about Korean-market requirements and AAM aircraft specifications. The pair will also look at ways to test the operation of Supernal’s eVTOL and infrastructure.

Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal, said: “A core part of our strategy to advance Advanced Air Mobility is the need for robust collaboration and partnerships with industry leaders like Korean Air. Korean Air’s expertise in building scalable aviation systems, together with Supernal’s vision for mobility, will help usher in this exciting new era of air travel and bring us closer to global AAM operations.”

The Korean government plans to use 5G and LTE mobile communication to enable information exchange and communication by pilots. The government also plans to create dedicated AAM operating corridors separate from helicopters and other low-level airspace users.

Keehong Woo, CEO, Korean Air added: “We will cooperate in deriving requirements for eVTOL aircraft optimised for UAM operations based on Korean Air’s accumulated data on aircraft operation and customer boarding experience. Based on this, we will strive to develop a business model and build an operating ecosystem suitable for Korea’s environment.”

Supernal’s plans for a global AAM ecosystem include elements likes aftermarket products and services, interconnected mobility solutions and physical and digital infrastructure networks.

Earlier this week, Supernal used NBAA-BACE 2023 to announce a collaboration with Honeywell to develop a ground control station that enables pilotless AAM operations. Depending on the needs of an operator, Honeywell said the technology could be scaled to manage hundreds or even thousands of vehicles across a series of stations.

Adam Slepian, chief commercial officer, Supernal said: “The collaboration with Honeywell brings unparalleled technological prowess to our flight test program. Their ground control station doesn’t just meet our current needs but also offers scalable solutions for the future.”