Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Air Taxis in India: Fly Blade joins hand with Eve Air Mobility to deploy 200 air taxis within 5 years

New Delhi: Within in the next five years, Indians could see 200 air taxis flying in the sky. Gurugram-based Fly Blade India has tied up with Brazilian aerospace major Embraer-founded Eve Air Mobility (EAM) to deploy their electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOLs) or air taxis to the country.

The urban air mobility player has got into a pact for up to 2 lakh flying hours annually with Fly Blade. This means EAM will deploy 200 air taxis with Blade that have a list price of $3 million apiece. Each of them will fly for 1,000 hours every year here.

India is “most relevant for UAM” and deliveries here will be within weeks or months of when they enter into service in 2026, Eve Air Mobility co-CEO AndrĂ© Duarte Stein told ToI on Monday. Stein has worked in India for many years and knows the country well.

It should be mentioned here that American mega carrier United had recently announced a $15-million investment in EAM and a conditional purchase agreement for hundreds of four-seater electric aircraft with deliveries expected to start in 2026.

EAM’s air taxi will initially be piloted with a seating capacity for four passengers and cargo space (a must for airport service). They will weigh about 2.5-3 tonnes (batteries will account for a quarter of this weight), have a maximum take-off weight equivalent to a chopper and have a flying range of 100 km, the co-CEO shared.

Bengaluru alone has the potential of absorbing 300 eVTOLs for commuting between the city centre and the airport and nearby places, he noted. Moving to the next stage, the air taxi maker will launch six-seater automated air taxis (with no pilot) after “taking learning experiences from the piloted ones and by which time passengers would have had the confidence to step into an unmanned eVTOL.”

27/09/22 ETNow

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