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Archer selects Abu Dhabi as first international eVTOL launch market

By Vertical Mag | April 25, 2024

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 1 seconds.

California-based Archer Aviation is making inroads into the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with plans to launch air taxi operations across the region by 2026 using its yet-to-be-certified eVTOL aircraft.

The company said its agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) includes “multi-hundred-million dollar” investments that will be injected into its eVTOL program to support the development and commercialization of Archer’s piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft.

Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO, called the agreement with Abu Dhabi a “pivotal moment for Archer’s commercialization efforts across the Emirates.” This will become the company’s first international market outside of the U.S.

“With Abu Dhabi’s support, we are poised to continue leading the transformation of urban transportation in the Emirates and across the globe,” Goldstein said.

The framework agreement, which was signed at the DRIFTx mobility event on April 25, will see ADIO construct vertiports in collaboration with air taxi developers, subsidize eVTOL operations, and help build out the advanced air mobility workforce. Archer also plans to establish its international headquarters in Abu Dhabi, carry out in-country manufacturing, and provide training across the region.

Archer’s partnership with ADIO started six months ago and builds off of other key partnerships that the eVTOL company has forged in the area.

Private aviation operator Air Chateau International, for example, plans to purchase up to 100 of Archer’s Midnight aircraft to operate in the area. Archer is also working with Falcon Aviation to develop a vertiport network in the UAE.

The region is a hotbed for eVTOL operations, including eVTOL rival Joby Aviation with its piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft. Joby has its sights set on Dubai after signing a definitive agreement with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) earlier this year, which will give it exclusive rights to carry out air taxi operations in the city for six years.

The company plans to launch operations in the UAE by early 2026, and is working with RTA and Skyports to establish vertiports in the region.

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