Saudi Arabia’s national airline Saudia is set to buy 100 Lilium Jets as part of an agreement that will also see the airline help with certifying the eVTOL aircraft in the region.
The MoU agreement makes Saudia the first airline in the Middle East to announce plans to buy the eVTOL aircraft and establish a network to operate them across the region.
Saudia 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.
Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA said, “We consider our eVTOL network project with Lilium to be an undertaking of great significance for the Kingdom’s aviation industry and will contribute effectively to spurring sustainable tourism in Saudi using zero-emission aviation.
“We intend to meet a growing demand for regional air mobility and offer our valued Guests a superior on-board experience. The potential for such an airborne transit network is limitless.”
Alexander Asseily, vice chairman of Lilium said, “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.
The Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft will be able to carry five passengers, with a planned range 250km (155 miles) and a cruise speed of 280km/h (175mph) at an altitude of up to 10,000ft.
Lilium said that it Jet’s flexible cabin architecture is “well suited” to the needs of the premium market, which will help drive the early adoption of eVTOL aircraft required to scale.