United Airlines bets $10 million on flying taxis

Business

Attendees watch as the Archer Aviation Maker is unveiled on June 10, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. – The Archer Maker is a full-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL), designed to be capable of traveling 60 miles at 150 mph to provide sustainable urban air mobility in cities. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Is United Airlines getting into the flying taxi game? It would appear so.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the airline company has paid a $10 million deposit for 100 of the electric flying taxis being developed by Archer Aviation.

Flying taxis are basically passenger drones that take off and land vertically. The aviation industry hopes — pending regulators’ approval — they will be the next go-to option for travelers with money to spare.

With air travel beginning to pick back up after the coronavirus pandemic grounded planes and brought the industry to a halt, industry leaders are eagerly looking for the next way to re-energize how Americans travel.

“There’s a lot of talk about orders in the industry, a lot of talk about paper commitments, but this is the first real cash commitment,” Archer Aviation chief executive Adam Goldstein told the Wall Street Journal.

The San Jose-based company first unveiled its electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) in 2021 at an event in Los Angeles.

The company’s vehicles have a range of 60 miles and travel at speeds of up to 150 mph.

Officials at the Federal Aviation Administration said some companies may receive certification for eVTOLs by 2024.

Archer’s stock saw heavy trading on Thursday with nearly 4 million shares of the stock changing heads, according to InvestorPlace.

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