Lilium, the Munich-based startup developing a revolutionary on-demand air taxi service, announced that it has selected London to be the base for a world- class software team it plans to develop. Hundreds of high-end software engineering roles will be created in the city over the next five years as the business seeks to make affordable, electric, on-demand air taxis a reality by 2025. Roles will also be added in their existing hubs in Munich and Zurich.
The announcement, which coincided with London Tech Week, came as the company confirmed a trio of senior hires, including the appointment of Carlos Morgado, former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Just Eat, to lead the development of the software engineering team as VP Digital Technology.
Additionally, the business has appointed Anja Maassen van den Brink as Chief People Officer (CPO) and Luca Benassi as Chief Development Engineer. Maassen van den Brink joins Lilium from VodafoneZiggo where, as Chief Human Resources Officer and a member of the Executive Board, she led the integration of the mobile and fixed business into one company. Benassi brings more than 20 years of experience in the aerospace sector, having worked at NASA, Boeing and, most recently, Airbus, where he was a Senior Expert and Head of Acoustics and Vibration.
The news comes just weeks after the company revealed the Lilium Jet, the world’s first all-electric, five-seater, vertical take-off and landing jet, and underlines its progress towards delivering a world where anyone can fly anywhere, anytime.
Commenting on the announcement, Daniel Wiegand, CEO, said: “We are one of very few companies in our sector that wants to both produce air taxis and then operate them day-to-day. Today’s announcement and the recruitment of these three new leaders underlines our continuous efforts to build the very best team in air mobility. We are hiring the best of the best from a global talent base, forming the basis for achieving our target of becoming the leading air mobility company.”
Commenting on the task that lies ahead, Carlos Morgado said: “Delivering Lilium’s vision of an on-demand air taxi service that customers can order directly from their smartphone will require software, and a team, that is almost unparalleled in its sophistication. Not only do we need to deliver a seamless digital experience for our customers, which will be based around a ride-hailing app similar to those you would use for a taxi today, but we also need to create the software that will enable us to manage our fleet in the smartest and most efficient way possible. We’ll be scheduling flights, moving aircraft around to match changing demand, and managing maintenance, all in three dimensions, with the added complexity of having to integrate with existing air traffic control regulations and systems.”
Lilium plans to design, produce and operate the Lilium Jet, and has set a target of being fully operational in several cities around the world by 2025.
Remo Gerber, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), who leads the aviation operations division, said: “Achieving our aims will require us to build one of the world’s most innovative and high-performing software engineering teams. While we recognise that talent is global, London offers us access to a rich talent pool and an environment that’s well-suited to delivering the extraordinary.”