Archer Aviation and United Airlines announced Thursday that they are collaborating to provide air taxi service to Chicago.
The proposed service will connect O’Hare International Airport (an important United hub) to Vertiport Chicago, a helicopter station about three miles west of the city’s South Loop.
United passengers will be able to board an Archer eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft for a 10-minute flight to O’Hare, which could take 45 minutes or longer depending on traffic.
The air taxi has four seats and a pilot. The cabs are being produced in Archer’s Covington, Georgia, factory, which the company expects will be able to produce roughly 650 taxis each year. The aircraft has a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 150 miles per hour.
Beginning in 2025, customers will be able to take an electric air taxi to and from the airport. According to Archer Aviation, which is working with United Airlines, the flight from O’Hare to the Illinois Medical District will take around 10 minutes. The service was recently announced by the companies.
The air taxi service will arrive at Vertiport Chicago, 1339 S. Wood St. It bills itself as “Chicago’s only full-service downtown heliport.”
It’s United’s second air-taxi route, following its aggressive investment in eVTOL manufacturers Archer and Eve Air Mobility. United and Archer have announced plans for eVTOL service between Manhattan and Newark Liberty Airport, which will begin in 2025.
Together with its usual services between cities, United and other airlines are experimenting with the air-taxi concept as an environmentally responsible way to transport passengers to and from airports. It may also represent a fresh market opportunity.
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