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Flying Taxis: How Archer aims to revolutionise travel in the UAE

Flying Taxis: How Archer aims to revolutionise travel in the UAE

Nikhil Goel, chief commercial officer of Archer Aviation, showcases how the company is leveraging the strong global demand and its robust ecosystem to revolutionise urban air mobility

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How Archer aims to revolutionise travel in the UAE

How does an event like Dubai Airshow align with the company’s growth strategy and outlook? What did you showcase at the event?

Archer showcased its Midnight eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft at the Dubai Airshow. Beyond the opportunity to experience sitting in an electric air taxi, the show also provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to give stakeholders in the region a glimpse into the future of urban air mobility in the UAE and beyond.

Tell us more about Archer Aviation and how the company is differentiating itself from other players in the eVTOL industry.

Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60–90-minute commutes by car with estimated 10-20-minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise and cost-competitive with ground transportation.

How Archer aims to revolutionise travel in the UAE Our differentiating factors are:

  • Experienced team: Archer has an experienced, successful and execution-based team with expertise across all disciplines and a track record of execution success.
  • Business model: Archer’s business model for commercialisation is unsurpassed and is leading the industry in execution. We are seamlessly working on a variety of fronts, including advancing the certification process with the US Federal Aviation Administration, developing meaningful partnerships with both the private and public sectors, clearing the way for the mass implementation of eVTOLs and construction of a mass-production facility in the US.
  •  Strong partnerships: Archer has established action-oriented collaborative partnerships globally including with US-based United Airlines, car manufacturer Stellantis, UAE’s Air Chateau, India’s InterGlobe Enterprises, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and the US Department of Defense.

Archer recently signed MoUs with Abu Dhabi’s ADIO and India’s InterGlobe Enterprises. Tell more about these deals and when do plan to launch commercial operations in these markets.

We partnered with ADIO in October to launch an all-electric air taxi service across the UAE in 2026 and partner with local Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) providers. Abu Dhabi is set to be our first international market outside the US.

The agreement with ADIO is aimed at supporting Archer through incentives for setting up its first global headquarters and factory in the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster in Abu Dhabi.

Similarly, we joined forces with InterGlobe Enterprises, which backs India’s top airline IndiGo to launch and operate flying taxi services in India in 2026, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals and clearances. Our partnership seeks to capitalise on a growing need for transport solutions in the world’s most populous country that is battling severe ground travel congestion and pollution in its main cities.

The parties intend to work with select in-country business partners to operate Archer’s aircraft, finance and build vertiport infrastructure, and train pilots and other personnel needed for these operations. The partnership also seeks to finance the purchase of up to 200 of Archer’s Midnight aircraft for India operations.

These agreements follow the $142m deal we secured in August to provide up to six of our Midnight aircraft to the US Air Force.

Archer is set to be the first eVTOL aircraft firm to operate commercial air taxi services in the UAE. What does this mean for the company?

How Archer aims to revolutionise travel in the UAE We are excited about our collaboration with ADIO, which will make the UAE our first international market outside of the US. Archer plans to partner closely with ADIO and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development to bring manufacturing and operations for our air taxis to the region.

Furthermore, we signed an MoU covering a planned purchase of up to 100 of Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft by Air Chateau. The deal is valued at approximately $500m and provides for an initial non-refundable, pre-delivery payment of $1m by December 31.

Air Chateau plans to own and operate the Midnight aircraft in the region. We are positioned to be a driving force in making all-electric air taxis a reality in the skies of the UAE and beyond in the coming years.

What future opportunities do you see in these two markets?

Archer is working with numerous industry partners across the UAE to support its plans to commercialise operations in the UAE by 2026. In addition to Air Chateau, Archer signed MoUs with Falcon Aviation, which will operate its air taxis across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as GAL-AMMROC who will provide MRO support for Archer’s eVTOL aircraft.

Furthermore, in addition to launching urban air taxi services, Archer and InterGlobe plan to pursue a variety of other use cases for electric aircraft in India, including cargo, logistics, medical and emergency services, as well as private company and charter services.

How are the preparations to launch in the UAE and India going in terms of certification, flight trials and development of adequate infrastructure for eVTOLs?

Archer is seeking to work with its global manufacturing partner Stellantis, as well as local partners in the UAE, to build out its aircraft manufacturing capabilities and its Center of Excellence in Abu Dhabi. Archer’s Center of Excellence will be focused on the development and implementation of next-generation aviation technologies.

Tell us more about Archer’s Midnight aircraft, its flight range, capacity and safety features.

With a range of up to 161km (100 miles) and the ability to hold 454kg (over 1,000 lbs) of payload, Archer’s Midnight aircraft is designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between, while handling four passengers and a pilot.

The company is committed to certifying and operating our aircraft with the highest standards of safety. The aircraft is designed to eliminate any single points of catastrophic failure in the aircraft’s critical systems.

The UAE has unveiled several smart mobility initiatives over the years. How do you plan to contribute to the country’s smart mobility strategy?

How Archer aims to revolutionise travel in the UAE We laid out our intentions to build an engineering Center of Excellence to support the growing advanced air mobility industry in the UAE and across the Middle East and to collaborate with local manufacturing companies and MRO providers in Abu Dhabi to spearhead the production of eVTOL aircraft, furthering Abu Dhabi’s efforts to grow its SAVI cluster.

The global eVTOL market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.16 per cent to reach $34.92bn by 2030. How do you envision the future of the eVTOL market? Which trends do you expect to accelerate the adoption of air taxis?

We believe we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to be one of the first companies to meaningfully deploy a transformational technology that will forever change how people move in and around cities around the world.

Morgan Stanley predicts urban air mobility to be a $66bn market by 2035, and a $1tn market by 2040. Individual investors must decide what risk they are willing to take with any investment, but we agree with Morgan Stanley that the opportunity in this industry is massive and our focus is on delivering on our mission of making urban air mobility seamless while creating value for our shareholders.

Read: Flying taxi maker Archer secures $500m order from UAE’s Air Chateau

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