Date set for Kenya’s flying taxis to take-off

Posted by David Henning on 2 March 2022

It will soon be possible to escape Nairobi’s notorious traffic by taking a flip in an eVTOL or electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, in Kenya’s capital. Kenya Airways subsidiary Fahari is planning to launch its eVTOL aircraft at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, offering travellers the option of skipping the traffic with a scenic flight from the airport.

Fahari is the airline’s new subsidiary that deals with unmanned aircraft such as drones, with aerial vehicle schools in place to train interested Kenyans.

These new eVTOLs can take off and land vertically, making it easier to move within cities. The airline CEO, Allan Kilavuka, said testing would start in 2025.

‘We are working on a future, 2025 onwards, to see how we can support urban mobility,’ Kilavika said. It’s a future where flying taxis could provide an alternative mode of transport for passengers in a rush.

Nairobi is ranked as the fourth most congested city in the world, with a report from the country’s transport authorities estimating that vehicles getting stuck in traffic cost Kenya an estimated $1 billion a year in lost productivity. There is, therefore, a great deal of impetus to find alternative means of transport in the city.

The eVTOL is made by Embraer, a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, which has signed contracts for 1 735 orders worth $5 billion for its aircraft since January 2022.

This electric aircraft is capable of carrying a load of 250kg at 400km/h with a range of 250km per flight. The aircraft is also completely autonomous, requiring no pilot on board.

Picture: Embraer

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