eVTOL jet developer Lilium has signed an MoU for the proposed development and operation of an eVTOL network across Saudi Arabia with national flag carrier Saudia at the sixth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII). The proposed arrangement will make Saudia the first airline in the MENA region to purchase 100 Lilium Jets alongside yearly support services.
With zero operating emissions, the Lilium Jet will enable sustainable and time-saving travel. Saudia intends to launch a service with new electric point-to-point connections as well as seamless feeder connections to Saudia's hubs for business class guests. Lilium Jet's flexible cabin architecture is expected to enable a range of spacious interior configurations that are well suited to the needs of the premium market, which Lilium believes can help drive the early adoption of eVTOL aircraft required to scale.
Saudia also expects to support Lilium with the necessary regulatory approval processes in Saudi Arabia for certification of the Lilium Jet and any other required regulatory approvals. Saudia currently serves a network of more than 100 domestic and international destinations.
Saudia CEO captain Ibrahim S Koshy says: “Saudia, building on its commitment to be an industry leading airline committed to sustainability, considers our eVTOL network project with Lilium to be an undertaking of great significance for the Kingdom's aviation industry, and one that will contribute effectively to spurring sustainable tourism in Saudi using zero-emission aviation. Saudia intends to meet a growing demand for regional air mobility and offer our valued guests a superior onboard experience. The potential for such an airborne transit network is limitless.”
Lilium vice chairman Alexander Asseily adds: “We are thrilled to work with innovative partners for whom sustainability is a priority. This partnership with Saudia, our first in the Middle East, is an exciting development for Lilium. We look forward to working with Saudia to deploy an eVTOL network across Saudi Arabia.”
The proposed arrangement between Saudia and Lilium is subject to the parties completing a feasibility assessment, agreeing to commercial terms and entering into definitive agreements with respect thereto and satisfaction of certain conditions.