A prototype of future Air taxi.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The future is now. Taxis are a ‘ground reality,’ so to speak, but ‘air taxis’ will be too, soon, in the UAE if an agreement signed recently sees its fruition.
Air taxis may be a futuristic fancy that is far-fetched for many, but not for the UAE. However, it does not mean that they are like flying cars, as seen in Harry Potter movies. It’s basically electrified air travel scaled down to black cab proportions.
Many start-ups have pumped in a lot of money to fulfil their desire to see “urban air mobility”.
In April 2022, a subsidiary of Eve Holding, Inc. (“Eve” or the “Company”) (NYSE: EVEX; EVEXW) and Falcon Aviation Services (“Falcon”), a leading Business Aviation Services operator in the Middle East and Africa region, signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for up to 35 electric vertical take-off and landing (“eVTOL”) aircraft.
With deliveries expected to start in 2026, the partnership will introduce the first eVTOL touristic flights from the Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.
Eve and Falcon will work together with the local stakeholders and authorities to support developing the Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”) ecosystem for the United Arab Emirates.
Captain Ramandeep Oberoi, Chief Operating Officer of Falcon, said: “We are ecstatic to partner with Eve and be the first operator of eVTOL in Dubai and the MENA region. The launch of this concept fully aligns with the Smart Dubai vision and will contribute to positioning Dubai as a global leader in sustainable Urban Air Mobility transportation."
"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,” he said.
A report earlier this year said AirAsia Aviation Group unveiled plans for a low-cost air ridesharing service in Southeast Asia after signing a non-binding deal with lessor Avolon for at least 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric vehicles, or flying taxis.
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, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.
Sheikh Mohammed said, "We want to achieve a qualitative leap in infrastructure, energy and transport fields as part of a vision that combines inclusiveness and integration and takes into account balance and sustainability and enhances our competitiveness regionally and globally."
The partnership agreement will facilitate the issuance of residency permits for investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees, along with other relevant processes such as application assessment procedures and the issuance of special entry permits.
Dubai welcomed a record 16.73 million tourists in 2019, an improvement over the previous two years driven by soaring Chinese, Russian and Omani visitor numbers.
Iranian state TV reported that rescue teams were dispatched to the quake-hit area and added there were no casualties.
The blast was so powerful that it toppled the truck carrying police officers into a ravine, police chief Meher said, adding that the bombing also damaged a nearby car carrying members of a family. He said that the anti-polio campaign will continue even after the bombing.
Sheikh Sultan called on farmers to cooperate with Sharjah government in developing and maintaining their farms and establishing specialised farms, stressing that he will provide the necessary support for electricity and water services at reduced prices.
The COVID-19 Drive-Through Services Centres in Abu Dhabi which will remain open are Rabdan, Manhal; Al Ain: Al Sarouj, Asharej. In addition, the COVID-19 Prime Assessment Centres in Mushrif Wedding Hall in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Convention Centre will remain open.