Joby Aviation is one step closer to becoming the Uber of the air. The California-based air-taxi company announced Sunday that it has signed an agreement with the Dubai government to begin operating air taxis in the United Arab Emirates in 2026, with some operations beginning as early as next year. If it can hit this goal, Joby and the UAE will be able to boast the first regularly operating air-taxi service in the world.
Joby has hit several milestones recently. Back in 2021, it showcased how much quieter its air-taxi design was when compared to other vertical take-off and landing vehicles. In June 2023, the company received a critical permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so it could begin flight testing in the United States. In September, the company began moving forward with building an aircraft production facility in Ohio. And in November, Joby became the first company to fly an air taxi in New York City.
As for the planned launch of an air-taxi service in Dubai, Joby says several locations have been identified as take-off and landing zones for the service, including Dubai International Airport (DXB), Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, and Dubai Downtown.
The vehicle will be able to carry a pilot and up to four passengers. It will be able to operate at speeds as fast as 200 mph, meaning a Joby air taxi will be able to transport passengers from Dubai International Airport to Palm Jumeirah in just 10 minutes. Today’s car journey takes 45 minutes.
As of the time of this writing, Joby stock (ticker: JOBY) is currently up over 6% in premarket trading to $6.33 per share.