Electric aircraft company Eve Holding, owned by Brazilian plane maker Embraer, and UAE-based charter flight operator Falcon Aviation Services have signed a letter of intent for up to 35 flying taxis, as Dubai develops its urban air mobility plans.
With deliveries of the aircraft expected to start in 2026, the partnership will introduce the first eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and lift) tourist flights from the Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, Embraer said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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,” Ramandeep Oberoi, chief operating officer of Falcon, said.
Electric air taxis are emerging as a new segment within the aviation industry as the first versions of their design are close to maturity and their developers seek to raise financing through various means, including special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs).
Start-ups are racing to develop, certify and manufacture electric aircraft amid efforts to revolutionise short-range travel. The push for electric flying taxis, particularly in urban areas, comes as governments seek to slash carbon emissions to fight climate change.
Eve and Falcon will work together with local stakeholders and authorities to support developing the urban air mobility ecosystem in the UAE, according to the statement.
“We are thrilled about partnering with Falcon and having the immense opportunity to enable the future urban mobility in the UAE and launch eVTOL flights in Dubai,” said Andre Stein, co-chief executive of Eve.
“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, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 10 this year, has orders from 19 clients globally for 1,825 aircraft and expects to launch its eVTOL aircraft by 2026.
While eVTOL aircraft manufacturers are gaining customers, they face challenges including regulatory obstacles, improving battery technology, pilot availability and reducing the vehicles' costs.
Industry giants Airbus and Boeing are among those pouring investments into the eVTOL sector.