Saudi national carrier signs agreement to purchase 100 Lilium air taxis

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Saudi national airline Saudia announced on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with German air taxi start-up Lilium for the purchase of 100 jets.

With the purchase, Saudia intends to launch new point-to-point power connections as well as seamless power connections to Saudia hubs for business class customers, the airline said in a statement.

Saudia also plans to support Lilium in the regulatory approval processes needed in Saudi Arabia for certification of the Lilium jet.

With this, Saudia will be the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa region to develop the all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) network in the region. The deal will also help Lilium gain a foothold in the region.

The agreement with Lilium will effectively help boost sustainable tourism in Saudi Arabia using zero-emission aviation, said Ibrahim S Koshy, CEO of Saudia.

“Saudia intends to meet growing demand for regional air mobility and provide its passengers with a superior onboard experience. The potential for such an air transportation network is limitless,” Koshy said.

Although no timetable was mentioned for Saudia’s order, Lilium’s air taxi is expected to enter service in 2025, with production starting as early as next year.

With orders worth approximately $2 billion, Lilium has already signed agreements with Brazilian airline Azul, private jet company NetJets, as well as private jet company Globeair.

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