- Flewitt brings deep industrial and manufacturing expertise to the Vertical Aerospace Board
- Follows news of industry-first pre-delivery payment commitment from American Airlines and further conditional pre-orders of Vertical’s VX4 from FLYINGGROUP
Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero emissions aviation, today announces the appointment of former McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt, to the Board of Directors (the “Vertical Board”). An experienced leader in the world of automotive innovation and manufacturing, Mike further strengthens Vertical’s leadership team which draws from industry experts in aviation, automotive and technology sectors. Mike will join the Board’s Audit and Certification Committees.
Mike is joining the Vertical Board having stepped down from McLaren Automotive in October 2021 after eight years leading the group. Mike was instrumental in driving McLaren Automotive’s growth to become one of the world’s leading luxury supercar brands.
Prior to joining McLaren, Mike spent nine years at Ford as both Vice President, Manufacturing, Ford Europe, and Corporate Officer, Ford Motor Company. Before joining Ford, he held senior manufacturing and operations roles at TWR Group Limited, AutoNova AB (Volvo) and Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars Limited. He is an alumnus of Salford University having qualified in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering in 1987, completed a post-graduate qualification in Management and Project Management in 1996 and received an Honorary Doctorate from the institution in 2017.
Today’s announcement, during Farnborough International Airshow, follows a series of new Vertical announcements and partnerships. Recent announcements include American Airlines confirming delivery slots and the commitment of associated pre-delivery payments, as well as 50 conditional pre-orders from FLYINGGROUP, taking Vertical’s industry-leading pre-order book by value to more 1,400 VX4s amounting to approximately $5.6bn in expected revenue. This is in addition to partnerships with Babcock International for the exploration of applications of the VX4 within Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and a strategic partnership with Molicel as its battery provider.
Domhnal Slattery, Chairman, Vertical added: “I am delighted to welcome Mike to the Board, and I look forward to working alongside him. His experience across the automotive industry will be critical to the next phases of our journey, playing a key role in enabling the commercialisation of our revolutionary VX4 aircraft.”
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder & CEO, Vertical, said “Mike is a fantastic appointment for Vertical; he knows how to build and grow highly complex and technical businesses having worked in both the high-volume and the super-luxury segments of automotive. He will be invaluable to the business as we continue our journey to make zero emissions aviation a reality."
Michael Flewitt, Non-Executive Director, said: “It is an exciting time to join Vertical Aerospace. Vertical is at the forefront of innovation in the aviation industry, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the team in their efforts to grow, progress, and lead the change in zero emissions flight. Stephen has assembled a passionate and talented team and I look forward to playing a part towards this continued success.”
Following the appointment, the Vertical Board will comprise: Dómhnal Slattery as Non-Executive Chairman; Independent Non-Executive Directors Kathy Cassidy, Gur Kimchi and Mike Flewitt; Non-Executive Director Marcus Waley-Cohen; and Executive Directors Stephen Fitzpatrick (Founder & CEO), Harry Holt (Deputy CEO), Vincent Casey (CFO) and Michael Cervenka (President).
About Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.
Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book by value for more than 1,400 aircraft from global customers creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. Customers include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni, Iberojet and FLYINGGROUP, as well as Japan Airlines (JAL), Gol, Air Greenland, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements.
Vertical’s ordinary shares and warrants commenced trading on the NYSE in December 2021 under the tickers “EVTL” and “EVTLW,” respectively.
About the VX4 eVTOL Aircraft
The piloted zero operating emissions four-passenger VX4, is projected to be capable of travelling distances over 100 miles, achieving top speeds of up to 200mph, while producing minimal noise and has a low cost per passenger mile. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel. Find out more: vertical-aerospace.com
Vertical Media Kit
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any express or implied statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the certification and the commercialization of the VX4 and related timelines, the differential strategy compared to its peer group, Mr Flewitt’s impact on Vertical’s strategic direction as a board member, and the transition towards a net-zero emissions economy, expected financial performance and operational performance for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022, as well as statements that include the words “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “project,” “forecast,” “estimate,” “may,” “should,” “anticipate,” “will,” “aim,” “potential,” “continue,” “are likely to” and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature. Forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, without limitation: Vertical’s limited operating history without manufactured non-prototype aircraft or completed eVTOL aircraft customer order; Vertical’s history of losses and the expectation to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future; the market for eVTOL aircraft being in a relatively early stage; the potential inability of Vertical to produce or launch aircraft in the volumes and on timelines projected; the potential inability of Vertical to obtain the necessary certifications on the timelines projected; any accidents or incidents involving eVTOL aircraft could harm Vertical’s business; Vertical’s dependence on partners and suppliers for the components in its aircraft and for operational needs; the potential that certain of Vertical’s strategic partnerships may not materialize into long-term partnership arrangements; pre-orders Vertical has received for its aircraft are conditional and may be terminated at any time in writing prior to certain specified dates; any potential failure by Vertical to effectively manage its growth; the impact of COVID-19 on Vertical’s business; Vertical has identified material weaknesses in its internal controls over financial reporting and may be unable to remediate the material weaknesses; Vertical’s dependence on our senior management team and other highly skilled personnel; as a foreign private issuer Vertical follows certain home country corporate governance rules, is not subject to U.S. proxy rules and is subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company; and the other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on April 29, 2022, as such factors may be updated from time to time in Vertical’s other filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and accordingly undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Vertical disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than to the extent required by applicable law.