EHang Holdings has received an initial purchase order for five EH216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) from Tianxingjian Cultural Tourism Investment and Development, an affiliated enterprise of the Jishou city government in Hunan province, China.

The two parties plan to develop a scenic flight project at the Aizhai Wonder Tourist Area in Jishou, while Tianxingjian plans to purchase an additional 25 units as the project evolves.

This is an implementation of EHang’s previous strategic partnership with the Jishou city government for in-depth and extensive collaboration on urban air mobility (UAM), such as aerial tourism, UAM infrastructure and operation centre development and professional technician training.

It also represents one of EH216’s typical programmes in the field of aerial tourism in China, and in recent years, the State Council and the Civil Aviation Administration of China issued policies to accelerate integrated development of general aviation and aerial tourism.

Aizhai Wonder is a renowned landmark and a part of the Scenic Area of Shibadong Village, and Dehang Canyon, a national scenic spot in Hunan. During the Workers’ Day holiday in May, some tourists witnessed EHang’s demo flights for sightseeing at the natural landscape.

Dehang Scenic Spot director of management Xiufeng Wu said: “The Jishou city government is striving to develop strategic emerging industries for tourism. Integrating EH216 AAVs and Aizhai’s cultural tourism resources can further enhance Jishou’s tourism brand.”

Chairperson of Tianxingjian Min Sun added: “Aizhai Wonder has a breathtaking landscape of steep cliffs, waterfalls and primitive forests, making it ideal for aerial sightseeing, air mobility, and related projects.

“As a world leading AAV technology platform company, EHang has advanced software and hardware, as well as rich flight experience. With our respective advantages combined, we will work together to set up vertiports at scenic spot,s including the Aizhai Bridge and the Jiulongxi Canyon, and will gradually roll out trial operations for aerial sightseeing.”

EHang chief operating officer Xin Fang commented: “We are delighted to partner with the Jishou city government to bring UAM solutions to Aizhai Wonder.

“EHang has been doing trial operations for aerial sightseeing since last year and we believe with our business expansion, EH216 AAVs will fly in more scenic spots around the world, bringing tourists safe and comfortable aerial sightseeing experiences.”

Last month, EHang formed a strategic partnership with Charoen Pokphand Group of Thailand to establish a joint venture for AAV sales and UAM.

In April, EHang announced a pre-order for 100 of its EH216 eVTOL aircraft from Prestige Aviation in Indonesia during the Indonesia International Motor Show 2022.