California-headquartered Archer Aviation, a designer and developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), an independent economic development agency of the UAE government, to jointly work toward commencing air taxi operations in Abu Dhabi in 2026.
Archer’s goal is to replace 60-90-minute car commutes with 10-20-minute electric air taxi flights in its Midnight piloted, four-passenger aircraft, which is designed for rapid shuttle hops with minimal charge time between them.
ADIO is to provide Archer with incentives for establishing the company’s first international headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Abu Dhabi’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster. The agreement calls for Archer, working with its global manufacturing partner Stellantis, to build an engineering Center of Excellence to support the air mobility industry in the UAE and the Middle East, and to work with local manufacturers and maintenance, repair and overhaul providers to spearhead production of eVTOL aircraft.
To date, Archer has raised over $1.1 billion in funding for the projects, including investments from Mubadala Capital, United Airlines, Stellantis and Boeing.
“We are excited to be working with Archer to begin establishing a high-volume manufacturing facility for the Midnight aircraft in the United States over the last couple of years,” Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, said. “We hope this first production site will be a blueprint for future Archer manufacturing facilities as it expands operations to serve new regions, starting with the Middle East, where we see extraordinary potential for urban air mobility.”