United plans to fly passengers to airport with flying taxis.
United Airlines has announced it plans to invest in 200 flying electric taxis that will fly passengers in urban environments to their nearest airport within the next five years.
The carrier will also invest in flying taxi firm Archer as part of a $1.1bn deal to develop the taxis.
According to Archer, the taxis will be able to fly a distance of 60 miles at speeds up to 150mph and have the potential to halve carbon dioxide emissions of passengers travelling to the airport.
“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,” United Airlines chief executive Scott Kirby said in a statement.
“Part of how United will combat global warming is by embracing emerging technologies that 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.”
Competition is heating up in the space with many companies racing to be the first to provide flying taxi services to airports.
In December 2020, ride-sharing business Uber sold its flying taxi arm, Elevate, to Joby Aviation, describing the sale as an ‘extended partnership’.
Another flying taxi firm Volocopter is planning journeys into city centres using its VoloCity electric air taxi.