The Embraer spinoff Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions continues to expand its global partnerships, signing a memorandum of understanding with Kenya Airways to develop operational models for urban air mobility (UAM) through the latter’s fully owned subsidiary, Fahari Aviation.
Fahari Aviation is the unmanned aircraft systems division of Kenya Airways and “at the forefront of exploring advanced technologies, with a key focus in aviation, starting with drone technology,” according to Kenya Airways group managing director and CEO Allan Kilavuka. “With this partnership, we look to develop innovative air mobility solutions for our clients in Kenya and throughout the region.”
Under the agreement, Eve, which is developing a fully electric air taxi for urban transport missions, will work with Fahari to establish its UAM network and the required urban air traffic management procedures and UAM operating environment. Meanwhile, Fahari will support Eve’s aircraft and product development process, which will help guide the integration of UAM with Kenya Airways’ overall operations.
“This partnership will foster long-term mobility strategies throughout the country and region,” stated Andre Stein, Eve’s president and CEO. “With our aircraft and aerospace services backing and Kenya Airways’ innovative approach to air mobility, we are enthusiastic about opening this region to more sustainable and community-friendly air access for all.”
The agreement comes a few weeks after Eve announced a partnership with the on-demand private aviation platform Flapper Tecnologia aimed at developing the UAM market in Latin America. That partnership will serve as a proof-of-concept for future regional operations of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft.
According to a press release, Eve expects to provide Flapper with up to 25,000 hours of flight time per year across key cities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. The companies “plan to foster a culture of on-demand UAM booking” using helicopters for data collection purposes. Their collaboration could eventually bring up to 25 of Eve’s electric air taxis to Flapper’s platform, subject to the parties entering into definitive final agreements.
“Six out of the 10 largest urban helicopter fleets are in Latin America and the region currently boasts the densest helicopter infrastructure in the world,” noted Flapper CEO Paul Malicki. “Together with a traditionally high acceptance of UAM in our operating markets makes us perfectly positioned to lead the aerial mobility revolution in the sector. Thanks to our partnership with Eve, we hope to expand our current pay-per-seat network and implement a smooth transition towards more agile and efficient supply types.”