Flying air taxis may seem like a fantasy to most, but they could become a reality sooner than you think – at least in some parts of the world. A leading Japanese helicopter service provider, AirX, has placed a pre-order for 50 air taxi units from EHang, a pioneer in passenger-grade drones and urban air mobility (UAM) solutions.
The pre-order for 50 EH216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) comes just months after EHang performed its maiden pilotless trial flights in Japan. This is the Chinese company’s biggest deal in the country, where it is quickly emerging as a central player in the budding UAM sector. If all goes well, the EHang air taxis will start flying in time for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka.
It’s worth highlighting that AirX operates reservation platforms for more than 100 helicopter sightseeing routes and private helicopter charters in Japan. To date, the company has served over 15,000 chartered flight customers, booking over 2,000 helicopter sightseeing flights and more than 200 chartered flights annually.
Tezuka Kiwamu, founder and CEO of AirX, stresses that the low-altitude transportation and tourism market has great potential and broad prospects in Japan. He says:
By leveraging the advantages of autonomous flight technologies and centralized management, the EH216 AAVs can provide customers with cost-effective aerial sightseeing services. This is why AirX has selected EHang as a partner in the global eVTOL market. We look forward to offering consumers safer and more convenient travel options with the EH216 in the future.
Meanwhile, Huazhi Hu, the founder, chairman, and CEO of EHang, sees the partnership with AirX as a key milestone for his company.
“It would help us to further explore and develop the UAM market in Japan,” he says. “We are delighted to see an increasing number of air transportation partners are introducing EHang’s safe, autonomous, and sustainable urban air mobility solutions to the general public.”
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