Saudi Airlines has become the first in the Middle East and North Africa to invest in sustainable air transport, with plans to purchase 100 fully electric aircraft from Germany's Liliam.
The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Liliam, with the aim of developing and operating the proposed eVTOL system, an all-electric vertical take-off and landing system, throughout the kingdom.
The kingdom is expected to support Liliam in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals in Saudi to certify the aircraft and any other required regulatory approvals.
The MoU was announced at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia.
Liliam aircraft have zero operational emissions, which will allow for sustainable travel.
The proposed arrangement between Saudi Arabia and Lilliam is subject to the completion of feasibility studies, agreeing on commercial terms, entering into final agreements and accepting certain conditions.
For his part, the CEO of Saudia company, Ibrahim Koshy, said that the planes will represent a distinguished service for transporting 4-6 passengers.
He added that this demonstrates Saudi Airlines' commitment to sustainability because the planes are 100 per cent electric.
According to Koshy, accreditation from regulators is expected in 2025.
He went on to say that the two companies have not yet agreed on the price because the commercial terms have not been finalised.
Last month, Liliam said it plans to boost production capacity to allow it to build about 400 planes a year, while benefiting from programmes aimed at supporting public research.
Saudi Arabia aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.