Kenya Airways’ (KQ) Fahari Aviation and EVE UAM have signed a letter of intent for an order of up to 40 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.
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, Kenya Airways said in its statement. Deliveries are expected to start in 2026.
“Urban air mobility is the future of transport, and we are honoured to be the champions of this in the region,” said Allan Kilavuka, group managing director and chief executive officer, Kenya Airways.
Fahari Aviation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kenya Airways focusing on the application of drone technology in training, operations, and traffic management. Fahari aims to develop maintenance distribution and design, and production of drones.
“The journey to realize the dream of eVTOL vehicles in Kenya is on course and the partnership with EVE UAM, 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,” Kilavuka added.
EVTOL aircraft is a new technology that uses electricity to hover, take-off, and land vertically, making it easier to move within cities while avoiding traffic jams.
#NEWS: Eve and Kenya Airways’ Fahari Aviation sign agreement to scale Urban Air Mobility with an order of up to 40 eVTOLs to fly people and cargo. Read the full news: https://t.co/LbwvmE8ilm #UAM #eVTOL #MobilityReimagined #GreenTech pic.twitter.com/kYn5dnZpcr— Eve Air Mobility (@EveAirMobility) June 21, 2022
Commenting on the partnership with Fahari Aviation, Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve said: “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,” Stein added.
Kenya Airways subsidiaries diversify into cargo operations
Regional low-cost airline, Jambojet, a brand of Kenya Airways, diversified into cargo operations in February 2022.
Dubbed Kenya’s first low-cost airline, the carrier committed its Dash 8-400 passenger aircraft to operate cargo services to eight destinations within Kenya – Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, Malindi, Ukunda, Lamu, and Goma in Eastern DRC.
Jambojet Managing Director and CEO, Karanja Ndegwa said that with the introduction of cargo operations, the airline can focus on connectivity for the region’s coastal destinations.