Lilium and Saudia announce deal for 100 eVTOLs
Saudia Arabia’s national carrier has agreed to purchase 100 Lilium Jets making Saudia the first airline in the region to step into the eVTOL space.
Formerly known as Saudia Arabia airlines, Saudia announced the memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. The deal also includes yearly support services for the fleet.
One proposed use case for the eVTOLs is as feeder connectors to Saudia’s hubs for business class travellers.
Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia said: “Saudia, building on its commitment to be an industry leading airline committed to sustainability, 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. The potential for such an airborne transit network is limitless”.
Saudia will support Lilium in Saudi Arabia with certification of the Lilium Jet and any other required regulatory approvals.
Alexander Asseily, vice chairman, 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 the two firms is subject to the parties completing a feasibility assessment, agreeing to commercial terms, and entering into definitive agreements with respect to satisfaction of certain conditions.
Lilium has announced a further five deals for aircraft this year which could bring its jets to regions such as Norway and southern Spain. That brings the total order book for 2022 to 213 aircraft.
The most recent deal, announced late last month, sees Austrian business jet operator, GlobeAir purchase 12 Lilium Jets to serve the French Riviera and Italy.
Speaking at the time, Bernhard Fragner, CEO GlobeAir, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Lilium as they are changing how we think about aviation and revolutionising how people travel. “