Joby’s eVTOL to lift off in Dubai

US company Joby Aviation has signed a definite agreement with Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to launch a flying taxi service in early 2026. The deal gives Joby the exclusive rights to operate air taxis in Dubai for six years.

Image: Joby Aircraft

Joby’s all-electric aircraft has room for a pilot and four passengers. It has a top speed of 200 mph (322 kph). A trip from Dubai International Airport to Palm Jumeirah should thus “take just 10 minutes compared with 45 minutes by car,” the company writes.

The company Skyports is also part of the deal. It has been charged with designing, building, and operating four vertiports across the city. Specifically, these will be located at Dubai International Airport (DXB), Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Dubai Downtown.

“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,” says JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO, Joby Aviation. “We’re looking forward to delivering an incredible experience for residents and visitors to Dubai as early as 2025 and we’re excited to be laying the groundwork for the expansion of our service across the wider UAE.”

On a side note: While Bevirt is talking about “as early as 2025,” the press release mentions “early 2026” as the possible starting date for the all-electric air taxi service.

In the US, Joby received a Special Airworthiness Certificate for its first pilot aircraft in June 2023, allowing test flights to take off. The company expects its plane to become the first-ever eVTOL delivered to customers. Joby’s largest shareholder is Toyota. The Japanese carmaker has invested 400 million dollars in the California company. Toyota and Joby also recently signed a long-term agreement to supply powertrain and actuation components. These are Joby-developed parts that Toyota manufactures on a contract basis.


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