Joby Aviation and Skyports Infrastructure have joined forces to launch air taxi services in Dubai as early as 2025 through exclusive deals with the emirate’s transport authority.

The planned operations have been enabled by a definitive agreement between the pair, and separately between each firm and Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), inked at the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 11 February.

Joby-Aircraft-Dubai-c-Joby Aviation

Source: Joby Aviation

Joby says it could launch services in Dubai as early as 2025

As a result, Joby gains a six-year period of exclusivity to operate air taxis in the emirate, while Skyports will have the exclusive rights to build and operate vertiports there.

California-based Joby says it will launch services in Dubai in early 2026 but is “targeting initial operations as early as 2025”. US certification of its four-passenger electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle is expected in 2025.

The arrangement with the RTA appears to hint at a state-subsidised operation: “The agreement secures a variety of support from the RTA, including financial mechanisms, for entry and maturing of service operations in Dubai,” Joby states.

To support the operation, an initial network of four vertiports will be constructed, comprising Dubai International airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Downtown and Dubai Marina.

A newly established Joby subsidiary in Dubai will operate the aircraft. In addition, it “will also consider localisation of other global business activities in Dubai and across the region”.

Joby does not disclose what operations it might set up in Dubai, but in its press release Skyports says its partner ”will manufacture” the eVTOL aircraft in the emirate.

Neither company immediately responded to requests for clarification.

Also unclear is where the new pact leaves a previous agreement between the government of the United Arab Emirates and eVTOL rival Archer Aviation.

Disclosed in October last year, a memorandum of understanding signed by Archer and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office set out plans to launch services across the UAE from 2026, including an air corridor linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Separately, Joby on 9 February announced that the US Federal Aviation Administration had accepted the type certification plan for its aircraft’s electrical propulsion system.

This includes the electric propulsion unit, propeller system, variable pitch actuation, coolant pump, nacelles, and associated electrical wiring.