Today, Archer Aviation and United Airlines announced what will be the first of many routes connecting airports to city centers. This first route will connect Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) with the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York City. Archer’s plan is to establish a network across the U.S. for its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to provide urban air mobility services.
According to Archer’s announcement, this proposed service between New York City and EWR is the first specific route that has been revealed in the eVTOL industry. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with United and to working closely with state and local government leaders in the New York and New Jersey area as we bring this exciting new form of transportation to life,” remarked Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams also commented on the news, saying, “We are thrilled that Archer and United Airlines have selected to launch their first route right here in our New York City. We want New York to be a place of bold innovation and outside the box thinking, and I encourage other companies to follow their lead.”
The commercial launch of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft, Midnight, is planned for 2025. Designers from Archer recently spoke with Avionics International about the interior and exterior of the production aircraft, although detailed renderings of the aircraft have not yet been revealed. The company is hosting an Open House event to officially unveil Midnight next week, and attendees will also see the full-scale technology demonstrator perform a test flight at Archer’s facility.
The proposed route between New York City and Newark Airport is estimated to take less than 10 minutes. Traveling by car or train along this route can easily take more than an hour. Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures, remarked that the new route will reduce travel time, and the eVTOL is a much quieter vehicle compared to a conventional helicopter.
“Electric air taxis will fundamentally change how United customers experience comfort, convenience, and efficiency during their commutes to the airport,” Leskinen said in the announcement.
United Airlines has supported Archer in eVTOL development since the companies formed a partnership in early 2021. They also established a joint advisory committee in April 2022 to make recommendations for eVTOL maintenance and operational concepts. And in August, United made a pre-delivery payment of $10 million to Archer.
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