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Thursday, November 30, 2023

UAE air taxi facility to create 2,000 aviation jobs

The UAE will welcome air taxi specialist Odys Aviation as the US firm plans to manufacture aircraft in the country.

The California start-up will set up shop in the UAE to launch an air taxi manufacturing facility in the country.

Air taxis made in the UAE will enter service in 2027, said Odys Aviation.

UAE air taxis

The Ministry of Economy has announced that Odys Aviation, a US-based company developing hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft designed for both regional distances and short-haul “air taxi” routes, has joined its NextGen FDI program.

The program provides pioneering businesses in high-potential sectors with the market-entry fundamentals to seamlessly launch and then scale their operations in the UAE.

Designed for passengers, cargo and emergency services, Odys Aviation’s aircraft will be able to deliver all-electric propulsion for 320km, with a hybrid-electric range of more than 1,200km.

This means, they have the potential to reduce carbon emissions on pan-GCC air travel by up to 76 per cent, and provide a zero-carbon travel alternative for all journeys across the country.

The California-based start-up plans to launch a full-scale prototype in 2025, with the aircraft entering into service in 2027.

The company has joined the Ministry of Economy’s NextGen FDI program to facilitate the launch of a regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi, which will also include a high-volume assembly and maintenance plant.

The move will create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country and would result in the export of the first aircraft manufactured under the “Made in the UAE” certification.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “The new partnership with Odys Aviation marks another important milestone in the UAE’s journey to create a knowledge-based economy, powered by innovation.

“We see significant opportunities for the operation of Odys aircraft across the UAE in civilian, cargo and civil defence activities, and we look forward to developing a new sustainable, low-carbon aviation sector – from clean energy air travel through to advanced manufacturing and research and development capabilities.

“Our NextGen FDI program is helping to transform the UAE’s advanced manufacturing and industrial sector and create new clusters of excellence around world-changing ideas.”

James Dorris, Co-Founder and CEO at Odys Aviation, said: “We are proud to partner with the UAE Ministry of Economy.  The UAE is the perfect market for Odys to establish a footprint and we are excited to work collaboratively with UAE entities to develop an advanced air mobility ecosystem.

“By bringing Odys to the UAE, we aim to partner with the existing strong aviation sector and leverage local supply chain opportunities. 2023 has been dedicated The Year of Sustainability here, and Odys is honoured to take part in transforming the energy ecosystem.

“Our aircraft will also mean brand new opportunities for domestic air connectivity in the UAE and regional flying between key GCC cities, cutting door-to-door times in half compared to conventional travel options today, and doing so in a carbon friendly way.”

The move to the United Arab Emirates builds on significant interest in the Odys Aviation aircraft. Despite being in relative stealth mode, the start-up has received pre-orders for more than 1,200 aircraft from operators and airlines around the world.

Launched in 2022, NextGenFDI aims to support the growth of the nation’s knowledge-driven economy by enabling rapid incorporation processes to speed up licensing, facilitating the issuance of bulk or golden visas, accelerating banking services, and providing commercial and residential lease incentives for advanced technology companies seeking to relocate to the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier this month it was announced Abu Dhabi-based Knighthood Global invested in Odys Aviation.

As part of the arrangement, James Hogan, Chairman of Knighthood Global, and Camiel Eurlings, a Partner of the aviation, travel and tourism advisory firm, will also serve on the Advisory Board of Odys Aviation, sharing their commercial experience and deep aviation expertise to expand the organisation’s global presence.

James Dorris said: “Our aircraft will revolutionise commercial aviation.  We envision a future of travel that is sustainable, efficient, and delivers an exceptional passenger experience.”

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