EH216-S Pilotless eVTOL Completes Debut Flight in Saudi Arab
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This news is classified in: Aerospace Aviation Urban Air Mobility

Jun 13, 2024

EH216-S Pilotless eVTOL Completes Debut Flight in Saudi Arabia

EHang Holdings Limited (“EHang” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: EH), the world’s leading urban air mobility (“UAM”) technology platform company, today announced that its EH216-S pilotless electric vertical takeoff and landing (“eVTOL”) aircraft completed its first autonomous air taxi flight in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The autonomous flight, conducted with rigorous safety measures, underscores EHang's commitment to safety and innovation. Partnering with Front End Limited Company (“Front End”), a Saudi-based enterprise specializing in advanced solutions for various industries, this flight also highlights the transformative potential of pilotless eVTOL aircraft for the region’s transportation system.

With the support from local authorities that include Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (“GACA”), the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Ministry of Hajj, and the Ministry of Interior, Front End's dedication to introducing cutting-edge technology to the Kingdom, combined with EHang's global technological edge in UAM, has been instrumental in shaping a faster, more efficient, and sustainable annual Hajj pilgrimage. The collaboration unlocked a truly innovative solution, showcasing the remarkable potential of public-private partnerships to drive advancements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, President of GACA, stated: “This flight marks a major advancement in integrating Advanced Air Mobility (“AAM”) solutions into Saudi Arabia’s aviation landscape. We are committed to the highest safety standards and its seamless integration into existing air traffic systems. This flight also acts as a proof of concept for multiple use cases and contributes to various AAM roadmap initiatives. We appreciate the instrumental support of Front End and EHang to mark this historic milestone for Saudi Arabia."

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Commenting on the flight, Mr. Majid Alghaslan, Chairman and CEO of Front End, said: “Front End is at the forefront of this trailblazing initiative, paving the way to a new era in smart mobility solutions.  Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, our goal is to foster a ‘Connected Kingdom’, serving as a gateway for our partners to access growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. This achievement stands as a testament to the power of government-private partnerships in accelerating new technology adoption. Partnering with EHang made this pioneering solution a reality."

Conducted in a low-risk area within protected airspace, the flight is critical in helping authorities set the right regulatory environment for deploying pilotless eVTOL aircraft, thereby enhancing mobility, reducing congestion, and promoting sustainability.

“These eco-friendly eVTOLs offer a cost-effective solution for urban transportation, tackling congestion while aligning perfectly with the Kingdom’s goals for a sustainable future. This advancement underscores Front End's dedication to national progress and its commitment to shaping a greener, more efficient tomorrow in mobility,” Majid added.

Mr. Huazhi Hu, Founder, CEO and Chairman of EHang, stated, "This debut flight of the EH216-S pilotless eVTOL in Saudi Arabia marks a significant milestone in EHang's ongoing internationalization and an important step forward in propelling global advanced UAM reform, showcasing the potential of our pilotless eVTOL products and solutions for widespread adoption in the Middle Eastern market. Looking ahead, with the strong support of GACA and in partnership with Front End, we will work together to establish a benchmark for regular AAM operations in Saudi Arabia, driving progress in both regional and the global AAM markets."