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Abu Dhabi partners with US-based company to launch electric air taxis in 2026

Archer Aviation has secured over $1.1 billion in investment from Mubadala Capital, United Airlines, Stellantis, and Boeing.

Abu Dhabi partners with US-based company to launch electric air taxis in 2026
[Source photo: Archer | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The UAE aims to become a leader in smart transport systems, which are becoming increasingly important in the country’s sustainability efforts. 

The global smart transport sector is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, from $48.54 billion in 2022 to $404 billion by 2032.

Last week, Abu Dhabi launched a dedicated zone in Masdar City for smart and autonomous vehicles, attracting companies worldwide. On Monday, Abu Dhabi announced its partnership with Archer Aviation, a California-based aircraft company, to launch all-electric air taxi operations in the UAE in 2026. Abu Dhabi is Archer’s first international launch partner.

Under the agreement, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) will provide Archer with incentives to establish its first global headquarters and factory in the Smart & Autonomous Vehicle Industries (SAVI) cluster in Abu Dhabi.

Officials from the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority recently visited Archer’s headquarters in California to inspect its Midnight aircraft and learn about their certification progress with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Archer has raised $1.1 billion in funding from a consortium of investors, including Mubadala Capital, United Airlines, Stellantis, and Boeing.

“Bringing electric aviation to the UAE will help unlock congestion with zero emissions and, in turn, bring millions in foreign direct investment and thousands of jobs to the region over the next decade,” said ADIO’s acting director general, Badr Al Olama.

Archer Aviation has also signed an agreement with Falcon Aviation, a helicopter charter service, to operate its air taxis across Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

In addition, Archer plans to expand its aircraft manufacturing and establish a center of excellence in Abu Dhabi, focused on developing and implementing next-generation aviation technology.

The California-based company aims to revolutionize urban travel by replacing 60-90 minute car trips with 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, quiet, and affordable.

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