United Airlines backs Eve Air Mobility with $15M investment

Avatar for eVTOLBy eVTOL | September 8, 2022

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 31 seconds.

“United [Airlines] has made early investments in several cutting-edge technologies at all levels of the supply chain, staking out our position as a leader in aviation sustainability and innovation,” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, in a press release.

The company announced today that it is backing Eve Air Mobility with a $15-million investment, as well as a conditional purchase agreement for 200 of Eve’s four-passenger eVTOL aircraft, with an option for an additional 200.

United Airlines Eve
United Airlines is backing Eve Air Mobility with a $15-million investment, as well as a conditional purchase agreement for up to 400 of Eve’s four-passenger eVTOL aircraft. Eve Air Mobility Image

“United is making history again by becoming the first major airline to publicly invest in two eVTOL companies,” Leskinen said.

The airline is also an equity investor in Archer and has placed a $1-billion order for the startup’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft, recently providing the company with $10 million as a pre-delivery payment.

United and Eve are expecting first deliveries of Eve’s aircraft as early as 2026, after it receives type certification from aviation authorities. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies intend to work on future projects, including studies on the development, use and application of Eve’s aircraft and the urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem.

United has also joined Eve’s consortium of partners working to simulate UAM operations in Chicago using helicopters later this month.

“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,” Leskinen said.

The companies said United’s investment in Eve was driven in part by Eve’s relationship with Embraer, which allows the eVTOL developer to access Embraer’s service centers, parts warehouses and field service technicians.

Eve’s eVTOL aircraft uses conventional fixed-wings, rotors and pushers, giving it a lift-plus-cruise design with a targeted range of 60 miles (100 kilometers). Along with developing aircraft, the startup is also developing an air traffic management solution designed for the UAM industry to scale safety. Its software is intended to perform at the same safety level as Embraer’s existing air traffic management software.

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