United Airlines eyes 200 small electric air taxis that will zip people to airports
United Airlines said on Wednesday it will buy up to 200 small electric air taxis to help customers in urban areas get to the airport.
The airline said it will help electric-aircraft startup Archer develop an aircraft capable of helicopter-style, vertical takeoffs and landings. Archer hopes to deliver its first aircraft in 2024, if it wins certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
United said once the aircraft are flying, it and partner Mesa Airlines will acquire up to 200 that would be operated by another company. According to an Archer presentation to investors, the orders are worth $1 billion with an option for $500 million more.
Privately held Archer, which is based in Palo Alto, California, announced separately that it has agreed to merge with Atlas Crest Investment Corp. and form a new publicly traded company. Archer and Atlas put a $3.8 billion value on the deal, which sent Atlas shares up 22 percent.
Archer’s aircraft are designed to fly under battery power for up to 60 miles (97 kilometers) at speeds of up to 150 mph (240 kph).
The company plans to launch service in congested areas close to airports. United estimated the air taxis could shuttle people from Hollywood to Los Angeles International Airport at about half the carbon emissions per passenger.
Cowen analyst Helane Becker said United could use Archer’s aircraft could operate between New York City and United’s hub operation at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, or from downtown Chicago to O’Hare Airport, allowing airline customers to avoid traffic.
Chicago-based United portrayed the move as part of a broader plan to invest in technology behind cleaner modes of air travel. CEO Scott Kirby said Archer’s design “has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.”
Aviation is a small contributor to greenhouse gases that cause climate change, but its share of the problem is growing rapidly. Many airlines including United have made investments in biofuel, but limited supplies are likely to hinder wider use of such alternatives to jet fuel for many years.
In December, United pledged to offset all its carbon emissions by 2050 in part by investing in technology to remove carbon from the air and bury it.
Hyundai to make flying cars for Uber air taxis
Uber in deal with NASA to build flying taxi air control software
Toyota investing $400 million in flying car company
Hyundai to make flying cars for Uber air taxisHyundai announced Monday it would mass produce flying cars for Uber’s aerial rideshare network set to deploy in 2023.The South Korean ... Technology
Uber in deal with NASA to build flying taxi air control softwareUber is taking part in a joint industry and government push with NASA to develop software which the company aims to use to manage “flying ... Variety
Video and images of Dubai's autonomous air taxiFlying taxis in Dubai are expected to begin trials this year, Gulf Business reported. Images released by the German company Volocopter and shared by ... Variety
WATCH: ‘Air taxi’ passenger drone debuts in DubaiThe first single passenger drone that is capable of transporting a passenger at 11,000 ft. is to operate in July Economy
Coronavirus: Emirates, Etihad airlines to pilot COVID-19 digital ‘travel pass’Emirates and Etihad, two of the Middle East’s biggest airlines, said Tuesday they would be among the first companies to test an application that ... Coronavirus