Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) said it had signed an agreement with German electric aircraft manufacturer Lilium to purchase up to 100 aircraft.
Saudia CEO Ibrahim Koshy said the planes would offer "premium service" and carry four to six passengers.
It shows Saudia's commitment to sustainability because we're talking about 100% electric aircraft and we are the first airline in the MENA region that's introducing this as part of their network,
He added that "in the course of this year" Saudia will be looking at establishing an operational commercial network.
As the aircraft are eVTOLs, they do not require airports. Koshy explains:
It's more like a port with charging stations, passengers embarking, disembarking, and that's going to require a whole infrastructure.
The cost of flying the new aircraft has not been determined as the commercial terms of the deal have not been finalised.
Currently, the electric planes must obtain certification from Saudi regulatory authorities, which is expected in 2025.
The deal fits into Saudi Arabia's plans to become carbon-neutral by 2060. This week, Saudi Aramco launched a $1.5 billion fund to support the global energy transition.