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How the UAE is ramping up plans to launch flying taxis

The use of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft is expected to reduce travel times between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to 30 minutes

Archer Aviation has teamed up with Falcon Aviation to develop vertiport infrastructure in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as the flying taxi maker inches closer to launching its Midnight flying car in the UAE as soon as 2025.

The use of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) is expected to cut travel times between the two emirates to as little as 30 minutes, replacing car trips that take up to 90 minutes.

“Partnering with established operators such as Falcon Aviation, as well as the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), has been key to quickly building our presence in the region,” said Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein.

“We look forward to paving the way for the introduction of our Midnight aircraft to the region which will set the stage for the UAE to become a global leader in urban air mobility.”

Under the agreement, Archer and Falcon Aviation will build vertiport infrastructure at Falcon Heliport at Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai and the Marina Mall heliport in Abu Dhabi’s Corniche.

The partnership with Falcon Aviation is expected to further strengthen Archer’s plans to commence air taxi operations in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Last year, the two entities signed an MoU paving the way for Falcon Aviation to operate Archer’s Midnight flying cars in the UAE.

Archer secured orders for as many as 100 Midnight eVTOL aircraft worth $500m from UAE’s Air Chateau International last November. The company is also working with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to launch air taxi services across the UAE.

UAE’s urban mobility strategy

The UAE is set to be Archer’s first international launch market, as growth in the country’s urban mobility sector is being accelerated by government-led initiatives that are advancing the development of infrastructure such as eVTOL MRO facilities.

Earlier this year, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and US-based Joby Aviation signed an agreement to launch an all-electric air taxi service in the emirate, with the flying taxi firm targeting initial operations as early as 2025.

A partnership between the RTA and Joby could see passengers being flown from Dubai International Airport to Palm Jumeirah on quiet, emissions-free journeys that take around 10 minutes.

RTA, Skyports and Joby identified Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Dubai Downtown as the launch locations for Dubai’s air taxi service. Morgan Stanley projected that the urban air mobility industry will be valued at $66bn by 2035, and a $1tn valuation by 2040.

Source: Gulf Business