Eve Air has signed up for up to 2 lakh flying hours annually with Fly Blade. This means, the urban air mobility player will deploy 200 air taxis with Blade and each of them will fly for 1,000 hours every year in India.
Gurugram-based Fly Blade and Eve Air Mobility (EAM), an arm of Brazilian aerospace major Embraer, have entered into a partnership to bring electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) or air taxis to India within the next five years. “We expect Eve Air taxis to start flying commercially by 2026 and India will be among the first countries to get them,” Fly Blade India MD Amit Dutta said in a statement.
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EAM has signed up for up to 2 lakh flying hours annually with Fly Blade. This means, the urban air mobility player will deploy 200 air taxis with Blade and each of them will fly for 1,000 hours every year in India. Each of these air taxis has a list price of $3 million.
Saying that India is “most relevant for UAM,” Eve Air Mobility co-CEO Andre Duarte Stein told ToI that deliveries in the country would start within weeks or months of entry into service in 2026.
In the initial stages, the air taxis will be piloted and will come with a seating capacity for four passengers and cargo space, which is a must for airport service, Stein said. The eVTOLs will weigh about 2.5-3 tonnes and have a flying range of 100 km, the co-CEO, who has lived and worked in India for many years, said. Each of these air taxis will have a maximum take-off weight equivalent to a chopper.
In the second stage of air taxi deployment in India, EAM plans to bring in six-seater automated air taxis that will fly without a pilot.
In the next three years, Fly Blade will focus on setting up the ecosystem for the launch of air taxis in India, Dutta said. these will include creating the required “vertiports” (airports for eVTOLs) and air navigation systems for safe flying.
Currently, Blade provides helicopter services between Mumbai, Pune and Shirdi. People can book a seat for the service for less than Rs 10,000, Free Press Journal reported.
In a boost to the air mobility sector, Dubai is expected to deploy eVTOL taxis for Atlantis at the Palm. United Airlines has also invested $15 million in Eve Air and entered into a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat electric aircraft. The electric aviation start-up is expected to start deliveries in 2026.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)