Kenya Airways has outlined new details of its plan to introduce air taxis as the firm ventures into the urban mobility space.
CEO Allan Kivuka noted that the firm’s Fahari Aviation subsidiary would pilot the project from 2025. The national carrier is among airlines which have already entered contracts with Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions, the urban mobility arm of Embraer.
Eve is one of several major firms developing urban air taxi solutions, innovations expected to improve urban mobility particularly in congested cities while opening up an entirely new business for aviation companies. Eve announced in December 2021 that it would list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the new ticker symbol EVEX and EVEXW.
Eve’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is designed to efficiently get around busy cities as it uses electricity to hover, take off, and land vertically.
“We are working on a future, 2025 onwards to see how we can support urban mobility,” Kilavuka stated.
It remains to be seen how efficient the technology would be for Kenya Airways, which would expectedly pilot and deploy it in Nairobi and other major urban centres. Fahari Aviation is steering a number of diversification projects for the national carrier.
Their partnership with Eve established a framework for the co-creation of a foundation and procedures to safely scale electric vertical aircrafts (EVA) throughout Kenya in coming years.
Eve will support Fahari Aviation, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) division of Kenya Airways, in establishing its UAM network and collaborate on the required Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) procedures and UAM operating environment.
So far, Fahari has focused on drones, introducing training for drone pilots as well as enterprise solutions that span operations management, equipment maintenance and more.
Kenya Airways on 8th July 2021 launched the Fahari Innovation Hub, a centre for generating new ideas and data-driven innovations.