Embraer Wants To Test Flying Electric Taxis In Kenya

A Kenya Airways subsidiary might just be flying “ultra short-haul” in the future through a partnership with Embraer subsidiary Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions – or simple ‘Eve.’ The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two firms will open up the possibility of electrical vertical takeoff and landing aircraft in Kenya’s urban airspace.

Air taxi
The deal involves Fahari Aviation, a fully-owned subsidiary of Kenya Airways. Photo: Eve Air Mobility

Subsidiaries of Embraer and Kenya Airways team up

As technology develops, experimentation and research on new transportation solutions are inevitable. Exemplifying this is the recent MoU signed between subsidiaries of Embraer and Kenya Airways: Eve and Fahari Aviation, respectively.

“This collaboration aims to develop operational models for the wide-accessibility of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to support Fahari Aviation’s key markets,” an Eve statement reads. The partnership between the two firms hopes to establish a foundation of concepts and procedures to “safely scale electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft” – conceptually, we can consider these types of vehicles as “air taxis.”

The partnership will see Eve support Fahari Aviation in establishing its urban air mobility network. The two firms will collaborate on required Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) procedures while allowing Fahari to support Eve’s aircraft and product development process.

“The creation of disruptive and widely accessible Urban Air Mobility solutions will help democratize mobility by making it more accessible, affordable and giving communities more options.” – Andre Stein, President & CEO, Eve

Air Taxi
Eve hopes to be a pioneering force in urban air mobility. Photo: Eve Air Mobility

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Unmanned, electric, air taxis

Once exclusively in the realm of science fiction novels, air taxis could soon be a reality in many dense urban regions around the world. To date, the closest thing to this we’ve seen is the helicopter service known as BLADE, which ferries travelers between Manhattan and New York JFK airport.

If Eve can accomplish what it sets out to do, we could see low-noise, zero-emission, fully electric aircraft flying over some of the planet’s most populated cities. United Airlines is hoping to accomplish something similar within the next few years as well, through its partnership with Archer Aviation.

When it comes to the partnership between Fahari and Eve, an air connection between downtown Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) is high on the list. It’s noted that using these small electric vertical aircraft between the airport and downtown Nairobi will reduce the duration of conventional road trips by up to 90% “turning an hour and a half ride into a 6-minute flight,” Eve notes.

Eve air taxi
Eve has also struck a deal with Flapper to operate in cities across Latin America, from Mexico City to Santiago. Photo: Eve Air Mobility

Indeed, Nairobi would benefit greatly from this as road transportation is currently the only way to get to the airport, making travel during peak times excessively slow due to a flood of vehicles moving between the city’s central business district and airport.

What do you think about this partnership? Will it be successful? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.