As the demand for air travel is increasing day by day and people are becoming more time-sensitive, United Airlines has stepped up and taken the initiative of ordering 200 electric air taxis for a deal of $15 million from the start-up “Eve Air Mobility”. The core purpose behind this drive was to give people more access to different locations between the cities, which can be obstructed due to traffic congestion. The airline believes that people would easily agree to spend $100 to $150 for one-way travel in their four-seater electric air taxis.
As of now, the airline has ordered 200 air taxis initially but it plans to further order 200 taxis after the delivery of the first order. Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, said, “Our agreement with Eve highlights our confidence in the urban air mobility market and serves as another important benchmark toward our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – without using traditional offsets.” However, it should be noted that the order of these 200 air taxis is anticipated to be delivered by 2026.
Apart from all the official proceedings, United Airlines still has to get authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the commercial use of these air taxis by addressing the safety parameters. Leskinen further said, “It will take time for consumers to adopt this. People are going to have some hesitancy at first. It will feel a lot similar to a helicopter ride, it might be scary for some, but this is going to change the way we work and live.” “Together, we believe our suite of clean energy technologies will revolutionize air travel as we know it and serve as the catalyst for the aviation industry to move toward a sustainable future”, he added.
Coupled with this, the airline says that its air taxis will take off and land just like a helicopter, and as they are based on the eVTOL concept, they are free from all the carbon emissions that will be produced by the traditional combustion engines. However, it should be noted that United Airlines has already acquired 100 electric taxis worth $100 million from Archer Aviation, and this is its second investment in deploying air taxis.
Hence, these currently ordered air taxis will have a range of about 40 to 60 miles and will produce a negligible amount of carbon emissions as compared to United Airlines’ own fleet. On the other hand, Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO, said, “We’re thankful to United for their continued partnership as we usher in this new era in air travel.”