US-based Odys Aviation joins UAE’s NextGen FDI program

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Odys Aviation joins NextGen FDI Program
Officials from Odys Aviation & MoE

Odys Aviation, a US-based company developing hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft designed for both regional distances and short-haul “air taxi” routes, has joined the UAE Ministry of Economy’s NextGen FDI program, which provides pioneering businesses in high-potential sectors with the market-entry fundamentals to seamlessly launch and then scale their operations in the UAE.

Designed for passengers, cargo and emergency services, Odys Aviation’s aircraft will be able to deliver all-electric propulsion for 320 kilometers, with a hybrid-electric range of more than 1,200 kilometers. This means, they have the potential to reduce carbon emissions on pan-GCC air travel by up to 76 percent, and provide a zero-carbon travel alternative for all journeys across the UAE. The California-based start-up plans to launch a full-scale prototype in 2025, with the aircraft entering into service in 2027.

The company has joined the NextGen FDI program to facilitate the launch of a regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi, which will also include a high-volume assembly and maintenance plant. The move will create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs in the UAE and would result in the export of the first aircraft manufactured under the “Made in the UAE” certification.

Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi_Odys Aviation joins NextGen FDI Program
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi
UAE Minister of State Foreign Trade

“The new partnership with Odys Aviation marks another important milestone in the UAE’s journey to create a knowledge-based economy, powered by innovation. We see significant opportunities for the operation of Odys aircraft across the UAE in civilian, cargo and civil defense activities, and we look forward to developing a new sustainable, low-carbon aviation sector, from clean energy air travel through to advanced manufacturing and research and development capabilities. Our NextGen FDI program is helping to transform the UAE’s advanced manufacturing and industrial sector and create new clusters of excellence around world-changing ideas.”

Mr. James Dorris, Co-Founder and CEO at Odys Aviation, commented that “We are proud to partner with the UAE Ministry of Economy. The UAE is the perfect market for Odys to establish a footprint and we are excited to work collaboratively with UAE entities to develop an advanced air mobility ecosystem. By bringing Odys to the UAE, we aim to partner with the existing strong aviation sector and leverage local supply chain opportunities. 2023 has been dedicated to The Year of Sustainability here, and Odys is honored to take part in transforming the energy ecosystem.”

“Our aircraft will also mean brand new opportunities for domestic air connectivity in the UAE and regional flying between key GCC cities, cutting door-to-door times in half compared to conventional travel options today, and doing so in a carbon-friendly way,” Mr. Dorris added.

The move to the UAE builds on significant interest in the Odys Aviation aircraft. Despite being in relative stealth mode, the start-up has received pre-orders for more than 1,200 aircraft from operators and airlines around the world.