Air taxi maker Archer Aviation has secured orders for as many as 100 Midnight electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft worth $500m from UAE’s Air Chateau International.
The deal provides for an initial non-refundable, pre-delivery payment of $1m by December 31, 2023.
Archer and Air Chateau will now work to formalise the definitive agreements covering the planned purchase over the coming months, with $4m of additional pre-delivery payments expected to be paid following the signing.
The flying taxi maker said Air Chateau plans to own and operate its Midnight aircraft in the Middle East region.
The company’s operations offer last mile services to ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs), including connectivity between airports, cities and strategic points and key attractions.
Adam Goldstein, Archer founder and CEO, said Air Chateau’s recognition that Midnight aircraft meets customer demands in the UAE market and its desire to secure the purchase of up to 100 Midnight aircraft is a validation of the company’s efforts to bring to market an aircraft that will revolutionise how people move in and around cities.
The partnership with Air Chateau is expected to further strengthen Archer’s plans to commence air taxi operations in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2026.
“The parties intend to explore opportunities to collaborate on bringing in the infrastructure investment necessary for these cities to be ready for these planned operations,” Archer said in a statement.
Archer advances UAE’s smart mobility strategy
Meanwhile, the shift to sustainable mobility in the UAE is being accelerated by government-led initiatives that are advancing the development of infrastructure such as vertiports and eVTOL MRO facilities.
Earlier in October, Archer partnered with Abu Dhabi Investment Office to launch air taxi services across the UAE.
Abu Dhabi is set to be the eVTOL maker’s first international market outside the US. Under the agreement, ADIO aims to support Archer through incentives for setting up its first global headquarters and factory in the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry cluster.
Archer seeks to transform urban travel, replacing 60 to 90-minute trips by car with estimated 10 to 20-minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise and cost-competitive.
In other news, ADIO partnered with Abu Dhabi Aviation to set up an eVTOL MRO facility in Abu Dhabi, further complementing the city’s extensive portfolio of MRO businesses and the promotion of smart mobility.