An agreement has just been signed that could see delivery of 35 electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft within four years
Flying taxis in Dubai took one step closer to reality this week with an agreement to introduce the first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) touristic flights from the Atlantis, The Palm.
A subsidiary of Eve Holding, owned by Brazilian plane maker Embraer, and Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for up to 35 eVTOL aircraft.
Eve and Falcon will work together with the local stakeholders and authorities to support developing the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ecosystem in the UAE.
Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve, said: “This is a massive challenge for both companies, which will help to position Dubai as a leader in the urban air mobility market. Eve’s global experience, which spans different regions across the globe, will surely benefit the achievement of this project.”
Eve’s eVTOL is designed for autonomous operations but will operate initially with a pilot on board, he told Arabian Business.
The transition to autonomous flights will happen once the data to support the safety case are robust, the technology matures, and regulators approve it, Each taxi will accommodate four passengers plus the pilot.
Chief Operating Officer of Falcon, Captain Ramandeep Oberoi, added: “Falcon is actively engaged in Urban Air Mobility emergence and committed to delivering an effective and sustainable new urban transportation mode and providing the community with better and faster solutions.
“We are particularly proud to take a new step in the UAE, in a project that will be revolutionary for sustainable urban mobility.”
The race is on to become the first city in the world to introduce flying taxis commercially.
In April, Neom, the $500 billion development being built in Saudi Arabia, established a joint venture with Volocopter to design, implement and operate the world’s first bespoke public vertical mobility system.
Neom said it has placed a confirmed order of 15 Volocopter aircraft to commence initial flight operations within the next 2-3 years.
A report earlier this year said AirAsia Aviation Group had unveiled plans for a low-cost air ride-sharing service in Southeast Asia after signing a deal for at least 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric vehicles, or flying taxis.
And in October last year, airports in the Italian cities of Rome, Venice and Bologna and on the French Riviera teamed up to create a company to build and manage infrastructures for flying taxis.
“We have partnerships with leading aviation players across the globe, from the Middle East and Europe to North America and Asia, which will benefit this new project, ” added Eve’s Stein.