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EHang makes Middle East’s first passenger-carrying autonomous flight

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Urban air mobility company EHang has completed the Middle East’s first passenger-carrying flight on its autonomous eVTOL aircraft as part of its integration into the region.

EHang’s EH216-S transported a board member of a local partner on a demonstration flight earlier this month at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Falcons Aviation Club. The company also flew its EH216-L and EH216-F during the same event to showcase their respective cargo-carrying and fire-fighting roles.

According to EHang, the milestone passenger-carrying flight serves as a demonstration of how the technology operates, its safety, and the convenience that urban air mobility brings.

“Seeing is believing, and experiencing the aircraft firsthand is more powerful than hearing about it a thousand times,” an EHang spokesperson told Zag Daily.

“It’s not only the Middle East but the entire world that is embracing the transition towards smart and autonomous transportation.”

The flight came just weeks after the Civil Aviation Administration of China authorised mass production of EHang’s world’s first flying taxi.

According to EHang, the EH216-S aircraft is designed to make autonomous travel safe, accessible and enjoyable. It features a compact main body and requires minimal ground space for takeoff and landing to reduce infrastructure costs. Its pilotless nature and pure electric power aims to reduce operational costs, and the aircraft adopts a cluster management design to enable efficient large-scale operations.

Flying into the UAE market

The passenger-carrying flight transported Mr. Mohamed Al Dhaheri from EHang’s partner Multi Level Group, a financial technology subsidiary of Ethmar International Holding (EIH) which EHang sealed a strategic collaboration with at last month’s Driftx event.

EIH’s technology arm Wings Logistics Hub intends to purchase up to 100 units of the EH216 series eVTOLs and EHang has also partnered with Abu Dhabi’s Investment Office (ADIO) to drive eVTOL development in the UAE.

Last year, EHang became a member of the Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry (SAVI) cluster in Abu Dhabi which is led by ADIO and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

“In close coordination with these partners and government entities in the UAE, EHang is actively involved in designing and establishing eVTOL vertiports, rapidly preparing for the launch of commercial UAM routes.

“Moreover, after obtaining approval for passenger-carrying demo flights and successfully completing the inaugural flight, we will actively promote collaboration and communication between the General Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Administration of China. 

“This will help expedite the path towards commercial flights of our pilotless aircraft in the UAE, marking a milestone in the advancement of Abu Dhabi and the global air mobility sector.”

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