“Joby’s air taxis are like Teslas in the skies”: Bonny Simi

Bonny Simi, the president of operations at Joby Aviation, said Joby’s arrangement with the RTA is exclusive for air taxis for six years from the time it’s launched, which is expected to be 2025 or eary 2026



California-based Joby Aviation, a company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, is all set to launch air taxi services in Dubai by early 2026, with Joby targeting initial operations in 2025.
Bonny Simi, the president of operations at Joby Aviation, shares insights with the Gulf Time’s Arunima Mishra on inter-emirate air taxi services, for example between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and Joby’s plan to establish and scale air taxi services in the UAE capital and beyond that took shape at Abu Dhabi’s inaugural DRIFTx.

As a pilot, you’ve commanded Boeing and Airbus jets at United Airlines and JetBlue Airways. When it comes to flying an air taxi, how is it different from that of flying the behemoth jets?
The Joby aircraft has been designed to be much simpler to fly than other aircraft. There are six propellers that can articulate to provide vertical or horizontal thrust or a combination of both.
When flying it, you don’t notice the transition between vertical and horizontal flight because it is all part of the design of the pilot-machine interface and also benefits from the way electric propulsion works. The pilot only has two controls, no foot pedals and the system is intuitive. We expect to be able to train pilots to fly our aircraft in just six weeks.

Joby has the exclusive right to operate air taxi services in Dubai, which is part of Joby’s arrangement with RTA and is exclusive for air taxis for six years is what we have learnt thus far. Could you share when will the air taxi service from Abu Dhabi to Dubai be launched? How much will it cost, and what will the number of air taxis that will be in the initial fleet?
We’re looking forward to delivering a fantastic experience for our future customers and we’re excited to be unlocking the potential for zero-emissions flight between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Further details on the service will be provided in due course, but the partners aim to launch the service as an accessible public transport option, leveraging the operational efficiency and advanced technology of the aircraft to make this possible. The long-term ambition is to make the cost of air travel competitive with similar ground-based alternatives.

How do you see the potential of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) revolutionizing transportation solutions?
eVTOLs hold the promise of revolutionizing transportation, especially in crowded cities. Imagine hopping in an electric flying taxi and soaring above traffic jams. Not only could eVTOLs dramatically reduce commute times, but their quieter operation could lead to a significant decrease in noise pollution. Because they take off and land vertically from vertiports, eVTOLs don’t require runways, opening up new transportation possibilities in space-constrained areas.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend