DALLAS — Joby Aviation has announced that it has signed an agreement with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to launch air taxi services in the Emirate by early 2026.
The definitive agreement gives Joby the exclusive right to operate air taxis in Dubai for six years. This is set to position Dubai as a world leader in offering rapid, clean, and quiet air travel enabled by Joby’s revolutionary technology. The agreement secures an undertaking of support from the RTA, including financial obligations, for the entry and development of the service operation in Dubai.
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors for RTA, commented on the agreement, saying, “The air taxi service is part of RTA’s efforts to embrace future transportation technologies and offers a novel and efficient mobility option for Dubai’s residents and visitors, enabling fast, safe, and convenient travel to key city spots. This service will also enhance seamless multimodal transportation, improving citywide connectivity and ensuring a smooth travel experience for passengers.”
JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, expressed pleasure at the launch of the the service in Dubai and is hopeful that initial operations might begin as early as 2025. Bevirt said, “We’re looking forward to delivering an incredible experience for residents and visitors to Dubai as early as 2025, and we’re excited to be laying the groundwork for the expansion of our service across the wider UAE.”
Joby also signed an agreement with Skyports to design, build, and operate four vertical port sites across Dubai. RTA, Skyports, and Joby have collaborated to identify Dubai International Airport (DXB), Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, and Dubai Downtown as the launch locations for Dubai’s air taxi service.
The eVTOL developer, the RTA, and Skyports will cooperate on various topics, from customer journey design to stakeholder engagement and integrating Joby’s service into Dubai’s wider public transport network. Bevirt said, “It is an honor to partner with the government of Dubai to demonstrate the value of sustainable air travel to the world.”
Furthering Rollout of Air Taxi Services
To support the development of operations in Dubai, Joby has established a local operating entity and intends to recruit locally for most of its operational team. The company will also consider localizing other global business activities in Dubai and the region.
Joby and the RTA have been working closely with the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to ensure a regulatory route to support His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of being a world leader in introducing air taxis. The GCAA regulatory framework builds upon FAA standards with additional company testing and analysis, a high level of regulator oversight, and an ongoing operational review process to ensure continued safety for early operations.
In November last year, Joby’s aircraft became the first electric air taxi in New York City. This builds on several recent successes, including the production launch at Joby’s initial manufacturing facility in California last June. Joby also celebrated the delivery of an electric air taxi to the U.S. Department of Defense in September 2023. This is the first time in history for an eVTOL.
The company continues to demonstrate progress in certifying its air taxi with the FAA. On Friday, February 9, the Federal Aviation Administration accepted its certification plan for Joby’s propulsion system, marking a critical step towards receiving type certification for its aircraft.
Featured image: Joby’s electric air taxi displayed at the World Governments Summit in Dubai. Photo: Joby Aviation