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United Airlines launches flying taxi service in two years in Chicago

United Airlines launches flying taxi service in two years in Chicago

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March 25, 2023 | 9:14 p.m

The flying taxi service is coming to Chicago in 2025, courtesy of United Airlines and Archer Aviation.

On Thursday, the two companies announced plans to launch the city’s first air taxi route, using Archer’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to ferry residents between O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and downtown Vertiport Chicago.

Passengers will be able to travel from the city center to the airport in a day Midnight Archer Plane Within about 10 minutes, dodging rush hour traffic.

“Both Archer and United are committed to decarbonising air travel and leveraging innovative technologies to deliver on the promise of electrification of the airline industry,” said Michael Leskinen, President, United Airlines Ventures.

“Once operational, we are excited to offer our customers a more sustainable, convenient and cost-effective means of transportation for their commute to the airport.”

The announcement comes after United Airlines agreed to buy up to 200 Archer jet taxis last year in a $1 billion deal.

The airline aims to get passengers to the airport quickly, safely and optimally with minimal environmental impact.

United Airlines and Archer Aviation plan to launch their next flying taxi service to Chicago in 2025.
Business Wire

The Midnight Archer will be able to carry up to four United customers at a time, transporting them up to 100 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph.

Chicago was chosen as the starting point for United’s new taxi service because the city is a hub for business, innovation and investment, as well as being home to United’s corporate headquarters, according to a press release.

“Both Archer and United are committed to decarbonising air travel and leveraging innovative technologies to deliver on the promise of electrification of the airline industry,” said Michael Leskinen, President, United Airlines Ventures.

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“Once operational, we are excited to offer our customers a more sustainable, convenient and cost-effective means of transportation for their commute to the airport.”

The plane will be able to carry up to 4 passengers at a time, transporting them up to 100 miles at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.
Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

The plan is to focus the launch routes on commuting back and forth between the airport and the downtown shuttle service, referred to as “trunk” routes.

Once these roads are in place, United intends to create “feeder” roads for surrounding communities in the greater Chicago area.

“Technological innovation thrives here in Chicago, and this project between Archer and United is another example of that strength,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

This exciting new technology will decarbonize our transportation, and take us one step further in our fight against climate change. I am thrilled that Chicagoans will be among the first in the country to experience this innovative and convenient form of travel.”

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker hailed the plan as a “bold step” toward transitioning the state to 100% clean energy by 2050.

“I can think of no better team than Archer and United to partner with as we work to ensure our existing aviation infrastructure can support this exciting new form of transport,” said the governor.

But how much will the trip cost?

An Archer spokesperson told the Chicago Sun-Times that they hope to make fares competitive with Uber Black, with an estimated cost of about $100 for the trip from Vertiport to O’Hare.


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