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Electric air taxis and flying cars keep getting closer to reality, especially after United Airlines’ announcement this week that air taxi service is coming to New York. It is the first official announcement of an air taxi service in the U.S. The Pier 6 Manhattan Heliport, on the East River close to Wall Street, will sprint passengers to Newark Liberty International Airport in less than 10 minutes. 

How long is the trip from Manhattan to Newark by car?

Archer Midnight
Archer Midnight air taxi eVTOL | Archer

In rush hour traffic, the trip takes an hour or longer, with the route being around 22 miles. But the air taxi will take a more direct shot between the two points. And this is only the first route that will eventually see a network of routes. Newark is one of United’s largest hubs. 

Airplane manufacturer Archer has a United Airlines order for 100 of its Midnight eVTOL air taxis. “We’re excited to be confirming New York as the first of many routes we’ll be announcing alongside United as we work to build out our national UAM network, said Archer CEO, Adam Goldstein. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with United and to working closely with state and local government leaders in the New York and New Jersey area as we bring this exciting new form of transportation to life.”

What other companies are developing air taxi services?

air taxi route
Archer and United air taxi route | United

United’s ultimate goal is carbon neutrality. Tangentially, it also serves as a model for other companies to follow. Archer already has development plans for similar services in Miami and Los Angeles it hopes to be functional by 2025. But no routes have been announced so far.  Its initial routes will be from airports to large city centers. From there, it will branch out to outlying communities.

Just last month, Delta Airlines announced its partnership with Joby Aviation, another air taxi developer. Their plans are also for service in New York and Los Angeles, though they have not announced specific plans. 

How much will the airfare be?

Archer Midnight
Archer Midnight air taxi eVTOL | Archer

No pricing has been announced, but an Archer company spokesperson told FutureFlight that airfare will be “roughly in line with the price of vehicle ridesharing services.”  The Midnight taxis can accommodate four passengers plus the pilot. 

As for travel in icing conditions, Archer hasn’t indicated whether its electric air taxis will be grounded in the winter. Even though they’ll be IFR certified, helicopters with the certification still must stay on the ground. Being an eVTOL, it is both a helicopter and airplane combined. 

The production version of the Midnight has not been seen by the public, but that will change next week. It will be released at a test facility in California. So Archer and United are taking the lead, but it won’t be too long before air taxis will be as common as taking an Uber. 


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