*** ----> Saudi Arabia to use flying taxis in AlUla and Neom by 2026 | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Saudi Arabia to use flying taxis in AlUla and Neom by 2026

NOB | Riyadh     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Saudia Airlines has announced that a flying taxi will be introduced by 2026 in major protected areas like Neom and AlUla.

The first public transit routes will be operated by Volocopter, with flying taxis being one of the main forms of transport for residents. Saudi Arabia is working towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2060 by reducing carbon emissions, investing in new energy sources, and developing a carbon capture and storage programme.

French engineering firm Setec Group is also working on sustainable urban air mobility in the kingdom. The development of AlUla is part of Vision 2030, which aims to strengthen Saudi Arabia's position as a major international destination for culture and tourism.

In 2021, Neom and the German company Volocopter established a joint venture to scale advanced air mobility, and the flying taxis were successfully tested last year. Volocopter is expected to obtain certification for its VoloCity air taxi in 2024.


Flying taxis for Hajj

Saudi Arabia plans to introduce air taxis to transport Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from King Abdulaziz airport in Jeddah to Makkah hotels. Saudia Airlines will manage logistics. Last year, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Transport announced that flying taxis would be tested during Hajj.

The taxis will operate directly from Jeddah airport to Makkah hotels at a premium fee. Last year, Saudi Arabia experienced a return to pre-Covid Hajj figures, with almost 2 million pilgrims performing the ritual in 2023.