Chinese-based EHang has secured a new partnership to expand its aerial sightseeing routes in China.

The company said it has received an initial purchase order for five units of its EH216 autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) from Tianxingjian Cultural Tourism Investment and Development LLC, an affiliated enterprise of the Jishou city government in Hunan province, China. The deal includes the option for an additional 25 units that will be used for aerial sightseeing in the Aizhai Wonder tourist area in Jishou.

The partnership is a continuation of EHang’s previous collaboration with the Jishou city government to establish urban air mobility (UAM) operations, such as aerial tourism, and UAM infrastructure in the region.

“We are delighted to partner with the Jishou city government to jointly bring UAM solutions to Aizhai Wonder,” Xin Fang, chief operating officer of EHang. “EHang has been doing trial operations for aerial sightseeing since last year. 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.”

Tourists recently experienced EHang’s demo sightseeing flights in the natural landscape of the Aizhai Wonder during the Workers’ Day holiday in May.

“Aizhai Wonder has a breathtaking landscape of steep cliffs, waterfalls and primitive forests, making it ideal for aerial sightseeing, air mobility, and related projects,” said Min Sun, chair of Tianxingjian, adding that the group plans to work with EHang to “set up vertiports at scenic spots, including the Aizhai Bridge and the Jiulongxi Canyon, and to gradually roll out trial operations for aerial sightseeing.”

EHang had previously secured partnerships with other Chinese companies for aerial sightseeing in the country, including hotel and tourism company LN Holdings, property developer Heli Chuangxin, and real estate company Greenland Hong Kong.

EHang is currently working with Chinese aviation authorities to get its EH216 eVTOL aircraft type certified. Along with aerial sightseeing, the company said its two-seat autonomous vehicle can be used for passenger services, firefighting, and logistics.

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