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Archer Aviation Makes $1 Billion Sale to United Airlines

United Airlines has placed a $1 billion order for eVTOL aircraft from Archer Aviation, a Palo Alto, California-based startup.  United also has taken an option to purchase another $500 million of Archer’s aircraft.   

While Archer has yet to mass produce its electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, these vehicles are designed to travel up to 60 miles on a single charge at speeds of 150 miles per hour.  Archer plans to unveil its full-scale eVTOL later this year and is aiming to begin volume manufacturing in 2023. 

United CEO Scott Kirby said his company’s investment is one of the ways the airline will help decarbonize air travel.

“By working with Archer, United is showing the aviation industry that now is the time to embrace cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation,” Kirby said. “With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground.”

It’s also an investment in a possible new business line that could eventually shuttle United passengers to and from an airport.  United estimates that using one of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 50 percent per passenger on a trip between Hollywood and Los Angeles International Airport — one of the initial cities in which the startup plans to launch its fleet.