United Airlines would buy no less than 200 air taxis with which they want to transport their passengers to airports over the next five years. The airline also made a $ 1.1 billion investment in Archer Air Taxi to advance the developments. Due to regulations in the United States, the purchase of air taxis by United looks even requires regulatory approval.
United Airlines alone has not cut its ax to this size, spending $ 1 billion on Archer electric eVTOL aircraft in partnership with regional carrier Mesa Airlines. Following the agreement, Archer was approved to list its shares on the U.S. stock exchange. Start-up investors include the Stellantis carmaker, which was formed last month through the merger of Fiat Chrysler and the French PSA group. United Arlines and Mesa Airlines plan to transport their passengers in time with freshly procured taxis to airports instead of and over congested highways. Archer’s air taxis can cover a distance of 95 kilometers at a maximum speed of 240 kilometers per hour, roughly halving the carbon footprint of passengers traveling to the airport.
“With the right technology, we can curb the impact of airplanes on our planet, but we need to recognize companies that can develop the next generation of technology that do it early and find ways to help them get off the ground,” said the CEO of United Airlines. In a statement by Scott Kirby. United and Mesa have the option to purchase an additional $ 500 million aircraft as part of the deal.
United Airlines lost more than $ 7 billion last year and had to resort to U.S. government support to avoid laying off thousands of workers. Some economists see the pandemic as an opportunity to use these incentives at the same time to develop carbon-neutral aviation. Another air taxi company, Volocopter, plans to take trips to downtowns in major U.S. cities with an electric air taxi called VoloCity. However, the Uber travel-sharing company was forced to sell its air taxi project called Elevate in December.