United Airlines buys $1 billion worth of flying taxis from aerospace startup Archer for its 2024 launch
Last month, Chrysler teamed up with aerospace startup Archer to build an electric air taxi. The San Francisco, California-based Archer is a developer of all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and the first company to create the world’s first all-electric airline.
As the eVTOL space gets heated, now another global company is partnering with Archer. This week, United Airlines announced that it has entered into a purchase and collaboration agreement with Archer for its battery-powered aircraft.
As part of the partnership agreement, United will buy $1 billion worth of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft with an option for an additional $500 million of aircraft. United, along with Mesa Airlines, are preparing to transport customers with Archer’s eVTOL zero-emission aircraft by 2024.
The partnership is part of United’s broader effort to combat global warming by embracing and investing in emerging technologies that decarbonize air travel. Rather than relying on traditional combustion engines, Archer’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are designed to use electric motors and have the potential for future use as an ‘air taxi’ in urban markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, United will contribute its expertise in airspace management to assist Archer with the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft. Once the aircraft are in operation and have met United’s operating and business requirements, United, together with Mesa Airlines, would acquire a fleet of up to 200 of these electric aircraft that would be operated by a partner and are expected to give customers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United’s hub airports and commute in dense urban environments within the next five years.
Commenting on the partnership, United CEO Scott Kirby said: “By working with Archer, United is showing the aviation industry that now is the time to embrace cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation. With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground.”
He added, “Archer’s eVTOL design, manufacturing model and engineering expertise has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.”
Founded in 2020 by Adam Goldstein and Brett Adcock, the California-based Archer is an aerospace company building an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft focused on improving mobility in cities. The company’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility. Archer is designing, manufacturing, and operating a fully electric aircraft that can carry four passengers for 60 miles at speeds of up to 150mph while producing minimal noise.