OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 11:54 AM – Saturday, March 25, 2023
United Airlines and Archer Aviation have announced that the two companies are planning to launch a flying taxi service in Chicago within the next two years.
Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures, made the announcement about the new service, along with where it will be operating.
“Both Archer and United are committed to decarbonizing air travel and leveraging innovative technologies to deliver on the promise of the electrification of the aviation industry,” he said. “Once operational, we’re excited to offer our customers a more sustainable, convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation during their commutes to the airport.”
The service will utilize Archer’s Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) craft which will transport residents between O’Hare International Airport and downtown Vertiport Chicago. The route will take approximately 10 minutes, helping residents dodge traffic during rush hour.
The flying taxi will be able to carry up to four United customers on a single flight, which is capable of carrying them as far as 100 miles, at a speed of up to 150 miles per hour.
United Airlines had agreed to purchase up to 200 flying taxies from Archer Aviation in 2022 as part of a one-billion-dollar deal. The aim of the company is to help transport travelers “quickly, safely, and ideally with minimal environmental impact.”
According to reports, Chicago was selected to be the starting point due the city being the “center for business, innovation and investment,” as well as being the home of United Airlines’ headquarters.
Once the primary routes of the taxis are well established, the company plans to build out and “branch” out their routes to other surrounding communities in the greater Chicago area.
“Technological innovation thrives here in Chicago, and this venture between Archer and United is yet another example of this strength,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This exciting new technology will further decarbonize our means of transportation, taking us another step forward in our fight against climate change. I’m pleased that Chicago residents will be among the first in the nation to experience this innovative, convenient form of travel.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) praised the company and their plan, saying that it is a “bold step” in the state’s transition towards 100% clean energy by the year 2050.
“I can’t think of a better team than Archer and United to partner with as we work to ensure our existing aviation infrastructure can support this new and exciting form of transportation,” Pritzker said.
A spokesman had reported that each trip from Vertiport to the airport will cost around $100. The price tag was decided on in order for the company to be able to compete with other services like Uber Black.
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