Joby Aviation, a specialist in all-electric aircraft, has signed a deal to launch air taxi services in Dubai by early 2026.
The partnership, signed with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), gives Joby the exclusive rights to operate air taxis in the Emirate for six years.
Joby is hoping to begin operations as early as 2025, and the RTA partnership provides the aircraft company with “financial mechanisms, for entry and maturing of service operations in Dubai,” according to a statement.
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JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said, “Today’s landmark agreement delivers on all three ingredients required to successfully launch an air taxi service – a definitive path to operations, well-placed infrastructure supported by dedicated partners, and an aircraft with the capacity and range to deliver meaningful journeys.”
Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors for RTA, said, “The air taxi service is part of RTA’s efforts to embrace future transportation technologies and offers a novel and efficient mobility option for Dubai’s residents and visitors, enabling fast, safe and convenient travel to key city spots. This service will also enhance seamless multimodal transportation, improving citywide connectivity and ensuring a smooth travel experience for passengers.”
Joby has also signed a deal with Skyports for the design and build and operation of four vertiport sites as launch locations for the taxis across Dubai, including the airport and Palm Jumeirah.
In November 2023, Joby was the first to fly an electric air taxi in New York City.
The previous month Wisk, which operates electric vertical take-off air taxis, completed its first test flights in the Greater Los Angeles area.