United Airlines and Archer Aviation Inc. announced plans to launch the first commercial electric air taxi route in Chicago, between O’Hare International Airport or ORD and Vertiport Chicago.
As part of their urban air mobility or UAM network buildout, both companies will utilize Archer’s electric vertical takeoff and landing or eVTOL aircraft in the new route.
In November last year, Archer And United Airlines had announced their first commercial electric air taxi route in the US, from downtown Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport.
Chicago’s ORD is United’s largest operations hub, while Vertiport Chicago is North America’s largest vertical aircraft takeoff and landing facility, located in the Illinois Medical District near the Chicago Loop.
The site selected as the takeoff and landing site offers unparalleled convenience, access and service. Passengers will be able to travel to and from ORD via Archer’s Midnight aircraft in around 10 minutes, in comparison to a similar trip by car that may take upwards of an hour or more during rush hour traffic.
For the new service, United and Archer partner with the City of Chicago, Chicago Department of Aviation, World Business Chicago, the State of Illinois, ComEd, and Vertiport Chicago. According to the companies, appropriate infrastructure is required around the Chicago Metropolitan Area to support the safe integrating of eVTOL aircraft operations into the City’s transportation ecosystem in 2025.
Utility company ComEd will work with United and Archer to establish the power infrastructure necessary to support eVTOL aircraft operations in and around the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
With the UAM network, United and Archer aim to provide a safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation to people in the Chicago Metropolitan Area beginning in 2025.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “Technological innovation thrives here in Chicago, and this venture between Archer and United is yet another example of this strength. This exciting new technology will further decarbonize our means of transportation, taking us another step forward in our fight against climate change.”
Further, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said the partnership will help it to achieve its goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2050, all while saving Illinoisans money and creating thousands of good paying jobs in the process.
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