US-based Odys Aviation joins MoE’s NextGen FDI Programme - GulfToday

US-based Odys Aviation joins MoE’s NextGen FDI Programme


 Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi with the officials of Odys Aviation in Abu Dhabi.

The Ministry of Economy has announced that Odys Aviation, a US-based company developing hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft designed for both regional distances and short-haul “air taxi” routes, has joined its NextGen FDI programme, which provides pioneering businesses in high-potential sectors with the market-entry fundamentals to seamlessly launch and then scale their operations in the UAE.

Designed for passengers, cargo and emergency services, Odys Aviation’s aircraft will be able to deliver all-electric propulsion for 320 kilometres, with a hybrid-electric range of more than 1,200 kilometres. This means, they have the potential to reduce carbon emissions on pan-GCC air travel by up to 76 percent, and provide a zero-carbon travel alternative for all journeys across the UAE. The California-based start-up plans to launch a full-scale prototype in 2025, with the aircraft entering into service in 2027.

The company has joined the Ministry of Economy’s NextGen FDI programme to facilitate the launch of a regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi, which will also include a high-volume assembly and maintenance plant. The move will create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs in the UAE and would result in the export of the first aircraft manufactured under the “Made in the UAE” certification.

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said, “The new partnership with Odys Aviation marks another important milestone in the UAE’s journey to create a knowledge-based economy, powered by innovation. We see significant opportunities for the operation of Odys aircraft across the UAE in civilian, cargo and civil defence activities, and we look forward to developing a new sustainable, low-carbon aviation sector - from clean energy air travel through to advanced manufacturing and research and development capabilities. Our NextGen FDI programme is helping to transform the UAE’s advanced manufacturing and industrial sector and create new clusters of excellence around world-changing ideas.”

In response to joining the programme, James Dorris, Co-Founder and CEO at Odys Aviation, commented, “We are proud to partner with the UAE Ministry of Economy. The UAE is the perfect market for Odys to establish a footprint and we are excited to work collaboratively with UAE entities to develop an advanced air mobility ecosystem. By bringing Odys to the UAE, we aim to partner with the existing strong aviation sector and leverage local supply chain opportunities. 2023 has been dedicated The Year of Sustainability here, and Odys is honoured to take part in transforming the energy ecosystem. Our aircraft will also mean brand new opportunities for domestic air connectivity in the UAE and regional flying between key GCC cities, cutting door-to-door times in half compared to conventional travel options today, and doing so in a carbon friendly way.”

The move to the UAE builds on significant interest in the Odys Aviation aircraft. Despite being in relative stealth mode, the start-up has received pre-orders for more than 1,200 aircraft from operators and airlines around the world.

In March, Kyndryl, the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, has joined the UAE Ministry of Economy’s NextGenFDI Programme, which aims to attract digitally enabled businesses from all over the world and provide them with the necessary market entry fundamentals to launch and scale their operations within the UAE.

The news follows the recent announcement in February that nine more companies would join the NextGenFDI Programme.

Headquartered in New York, Kyndryl serves thousands of enterprise customers in more than 60 countries and has been operational in the UAE from day one of its global launch in November 2021.

Today, it supports the mission-critical IT infrastructures of the UAE’s leading airlines, including Etihad Airways, financial institutions, government entities, healthcare providers, national oil companies, business conglomerates and more. The company aims to play an essential role in supporting the growth of the UAE’s knowledge-driven economy.

Dr Thani said, “The NextGenFDI Programme continues to go from strength to strength. Kyndryl’s decision to deepen their presence in the UAE is another ringing endorsement of our pro-business ecosystem, and also an important step in our development as a world-class hub for innovation. We look forward to supporting Kyndryl’s regional ambitions and harnessing their market-leading expertise as we develop the industries of the future.”

In response to joining the programme, Xerxes Cooper, President of Strategic Markets, Kyndryl, commented, “We are honoured to join the UAE Ministry of Economy’s NextGenFDI Programme and look forward to working with the Ministry of Economy and Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi. We applaud the UAE’s strategic focus on placing digital transformation at the heart of its national strategy, and promoting the role of technology in reimagining society and enabling human progress.”

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