Archer Signs Landmark Agreement for UAE Air Taxi Services

An Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL aircraft in Dubai.
Photo Credit: Archer Aviation

Archer Aviation, a leading developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has signed a groundbreaking framework agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO). This partnership marks a significant leap forward in urban air mobility for the region.

The agreement, announced at the DRIFTx mobility event in Abu Dhabi, involves a multi-hundred-million dollar investment to accelerate Archer’s commercial air taxi operations in the UAE.

This ambitious plan includes in-country manufacturing, operation setup, and pilot training across the Emirates.

Abu Dhabi as a Global Leader

This comprehensive agreement solidifies Abu Dhabi’s position as a global leader in promoting urban air mobility. The emirate plans to launch air taxi services using Archer’s Midnight aircraft as early as next year.

The collaboration between Archer and ADIO focuses on several key areas:

  • Vertiport Construction: ADIO will collaborate with Archer and other air taxi operators to build vertiports in strategic locations throughout Abu Dhabi, creating the necessary infrastructure for a thriving urban air mobility network.
  • Operational Enablement: ADIO will assist Archer in establishing operational capabilities for air taxi services within the UAE.
  • In-Country Manufacturing: The agreement paves the way for local manufacturing of Archer’s Midnight aircraft in Abu Dhabi.
An Archer Aviation eVTOL aircraft in flight.

Building a Future-Ready Workforce and HQ

The agreement will extend beyond infrastructure development. ADIO will also support the creation of local workforce development programs to equip Emirati talent for this new transportation landscape.

Additionally, they will facilitate the establishment of Archer’s international headquarters and Center of Excellence in Abu Dhabi.

Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL aircraft hovering.
Photo Credit: Kevin Chang

Archer’s CEO, Adam Goldstein, expressed his enthusiasm: “This substantial agreement is a pivotal moment for Archer. It allows us to significantly accelerate the launch of our electric air taxi service in the UAE by late 2025.”

“This partnership underscores Abu Dhabi’s commitment to Archer and their vision of becoming a global hub for urban air mobility.”

Badr Al-Olama, Director General of ADIO, echoed this sentiment: “Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of accelerating the global launch of electric air taxis. We are proud to partner with Archer, a leader in this innovative field.”

“We are committed to supporting Archer in establishing their international headquarters here. We’ll develop a comprehensive investment framework to expedite their manufacturing and operation of the Midnight aircraft in the UAE.”

An Archer Aviation Midnight aircraft in the hangar.

Building on 2023 Agreement

Under this agreement, ADIO will collaborate with Archer and other air taxi operators to develop a network of vertiports in strategic locations throughout Abu Dhabi. This will be crucial for scaling up Archer’s operations and creating a robust urban air mobility ecosystem.

The framework agreement culminates from six months of close collaboration between ADIO and Archer.

It builds upon the memorandum of understanding they signed in 2023, which established the SAVI (Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry) cluster.

This initiative aims to transform the future of global urban mobility by supporting the development and commercialization of smart and autonomous vehicles on land, sea, and air.

Archer’s Partners Join the Mission

Archer is not going it alone. They will continue to work closely with existing partners in the region, including their early investor Mubadala (UAE’s sovereign wealth fund). In addition, air taxi operators Falcon Aviation and Air Chateau will join the collaboration.

GAL-AMMROC will then provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul support services for Archer’s eVTOL aircraft.

Sustainable Urban Transportation

Archer’s ultimate goal is to revolutionize urban travel. They envision replacing lengthy commutes by car with quick, quiet, and sustainable electric air taxi flights.

The eVTOL Midnight aircraft, designed for four passengers, offers rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charging time. The aim is to make electric air taxis a cost-competitive and attractive alternative to ground transportation.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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