Saudi Arabia to use air taxis for future Hajj seasons

New flying taxis set to transport Hajj pilgrims from Jeddah to Makkah

A Volocopter test flight in Neom marks progress towards the commercial operation of flying taxis in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Neom
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Saudi Arabia plans to launch air taxis to transport Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah to hotels in Makkah, Saudi Press Agency announced on Saturday.

According to officials, the logistics will handled by Saudia, the kingdom's national airline.

Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Transport, last year said flying taxis would be tested during Hajj in the coming years.

The air taxis will “run very soon” but not this year, officials told The National.

Neom and Volocopter last year announced they had successfully run a series of air taxi test flights in Neom.

The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is reportedly the same one to be used during Hajj.

Abdulaziz Al Duailej, the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation president, said the successful test flight was “a milestone in the Saudi aviation sector” as the aviation industry uses emerging technology to further contribute to the country’s GDP and create more jobs in the kingdom.

Last year, Saudi Arabia received almost 2 million Hajj pilgrims, a return to pre-Covid numbers.

Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Hajj and Umrah, said the numbers of Umrah pilgrims reached a record 13.5 million last year.

More than 750,000 Hajj pilgrims used the Haramain High-Speed Railway during last year's Hajj season.

Updated: January 15, 2024, 12:12 PM