The agreement involves joint studies to develop and scale the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market in Kenya and a business model for cargo drone operations
In March 2022, a subsidiary of Eve Holding, Inc. and Kenya Airways’ subsidiary, Fahari Aviation, signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for up to 40 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. The agreement includes joint studies through a working group to develop and scale the UAM market and a business model for cargo drone operations in Kenya. The project is expected to start deliveries in 2026.
Eve’s eVTOL lift & cruise vehicle is electric-powered and the most practical design for efficiency and certifiability. Its multiple rotors are used to take off and land vertically, and at cruise altitude the rear propellers push the aircraft forward as in a wing-borne flight, providing a low-noise experience and making it easier to move within cities while avoiding traffic jams.
“Urban air mobility is the future of transport and we are honoured to be the champions of this in the region. The journey to realise the dream of eVTOL vehicles in Kenya is on course, and the partnership with Eve is a key achievement for us as part of the strategy to adopt new technologies as a growth strategy for the sustainable development of Africa,” said Allan Kilavuka, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Airways.
“This is a new chapter of the Eve and Fahari Aviation partnership to strengthen both companies’ commitment to establishing the foundations that will sustainably support the ecosystem for urban air mobility in Kenya. Last year, we announced a collaboration to develop operational models for Fahari Aviation’s key markets, and today’s announcement confirms that it is evolving successfully,” said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve.
Fahari Aviation has been focusing on innovative and sustainable solutions to address different issues, such as traffic jams, sightseeing, parcel delivery, agriculture and wildlife protection, and Eve’s zero-emission, low-noise and accessible eVTOL, together with its global experience, will benefit the development of air mobility in Kenya.
Fahari Aviation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kenya Airways PLC that will lead the application of Emerging Aviation technology in the region and continent. Fahari’s initial focus will be the application of drone technology in training, operations, and traffic management with a view to growing into maintenance distribution and design, and production of drones.
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 41 destinations worldwide, 34 of which are in Africa, and carries over four million passengers annually. In 2020 KQ was named Africa’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards. It continues to modernise its fleet, with its 32 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa. This includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircraft. The on-board service is renowned, and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10. Kenya Airways takes pride in being at the forefront of connecting Africa to the World and the World to Africa through its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.