Former Airbus CEO Tom Enders joins the board of Directors of the German start-up Lilium. That company is targeting cleaner regional air transport with some kind of electric-powered flying taxis. Enders was at the helm of Airbus before seven years. He resigned from the aircraft maker in 2019.
Lilium was founded in 2015 and is developing an electric five-person aircraft taxi. The company has already made arrangements with airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne-Bonn to open transport hubs. The company also already has an agreement with the airport in Orlando, USA.
The start-up was valued at over $ 1 billion in a previous investment round. In this way, Lilium’s rating took off after it was scaled down to $ 275 million in an earlier round last year. Among the investors are the Chinese Tencent.
Enders is certainly not the first airline manager to cross from the major aerospace companies to start-ups like Lilium. The climate crisis is making the call for sustainable flight movements increasingly louder. This gives start-ups a clear advantage over the established companies, especially as the development timelines are shorter.
By engaging experienced managers, the start-ups gain credibility, which is an advantage in new investment rounds. Experienced ex-CEOs also bring expertise in, among other things, in supply chains and regulation. But the technical base may be the most difficult to accomplish. It may end well as some sort of Hyperloop.