Flying Taxi Startup Partners With China Airlines Company

The partnership agreement also includes the development of use cases for pilotless electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

July 2, 2024

3 Min Read
EHang has signed a strategic MoU with China Southern Airlines General Aviation Company Limited.

Air taxi company EHang Holdings in China has signed an agreement with China Southern Airlines General Aviation Company to create operation demonstration sites for low-altitude tourism and flight services.

The companies plan to create sites for flying EHang’s EH216-S pilotless aerial vehicles at Zhuhai Jiuzhou Airport and the Zhuhai Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.

The partnership agreement also includes the development of use cases for pilotless electric eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles. Use cases could include inter-island cargo transportation, emergency response and medical rescue transportation services.

“We are thrilled to enter into this strategic partnership with CSGAC,” said Zhao Wang, chief operating officer of EHang. “As a frontrunner in the eVTOL industry, we believe that the safe operations of pilotless eVTOL aircraft is crucial to the industry’s development.”

China Southern Airlines General Aviation Company, a business unit of China Southern Airlines Company, conducts offshore oil and gas platform flight services, power line patrol flights, emergency rescue, helicopter escrow and public services. 

EHang recently took passengers on demonstration flights in its pilotless electric flying vehicle as part of a tourism initiative called Low-Altitude Tourism in Wencheng.

Related:Air Taxi Flies in Saudi Arabia; Pilotless Travel

EHang had delivered 27 of its electric aerial vehicles (EAV) to Wencheng County Transportation 

Development Group in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, as part of a deal to sell 300 pilotless EAVs to the tourism development group.

For the demonstrations, EHang carried multiple passengers in low-altitude, sightseeing tours over Tianding Lake at the Baizhangji Fall and Feiyun Lake Scenic Resort, providing views of the general Wencheng area.

A takeoff and landing site for the two-passenger EAV was set up at the Scenic Resort. The urban air mobility (UAM) operation center and supporting infrastructure served as a model for other areas in Wencheng to establish aerial sightseeing services, according to the company

The autonomous flying taxi from EHang recently took its maiden autonomous flight in Saudi Arabia.

The vehicle flew in Mecca in conjunction with Front End Limited Company, a Saudi company that serves various industries.

In Saudi Arabia, EHang is supported by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Ministry of Hajj and the Ministry of Interior.

EHang recently signed a deal to sell 50 flying vehicles to Xishan Tourism in a $15 million deal.

Related:Flying Taxi Takes Demo Flight in Costa Rica; Pilotless

Xishan Tourism signed a purchase agreement for an additional 450 EAVs over the next two years as it plans to use the flying vehicles for aerial tourism and passenger transportation.

Before the Saudi Arabia flight, EHang took its first passenger for a demonstration ride in Abu Dhabi.

The passenger flight followed demonstrations of the EAV conducted without passengers at the DriftX mobility expo in Abu Dhabi.

The EAV maker joined the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries Cluster in Abu Dhabi and formed a partnership with Wings Logistics Hub, a passenger eVTOL subsidiary of Technology Holding Company.

EHang also is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office for EAV development in the UAE.

EAV battery charging times are expected to take fewer than 10 minutes to charge from 30% to 80%, according to EHang.

EHang has received the Production Certificate (PC) for its EH216-S from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). 

The $410,000 EAV already had received a standard airworthiness certificate (AC) from the CACC, the first of its kind globally for an EAV and the company is authorized for mass production.

EHang also has conducted demonstration flights in Latin America at the Reserva Conchal Resort in Costa Rica.

EHang also has flown a group of 12 EAVs together in China. In a video, the 12 flying vehicles took off together from an airfield in Hefei, China, on what appeared to be a snowy day.

Related:Air Taxis Fly in Packs in China; No Pilots

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Flying Cars

About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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