United collaborates with Archer

According to United Airlines’ company blog,  as of February 10th, 2021, the US airline company announced that it has completed an agreement to work with air mobility company Archer for their collaboration. To combat climate change, United Airlines has already taken actions to reduce combustion engines. Thanks to this initiative, it will be able to make use of Archer’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that have the potential for future use as an “air taxi”’ in urban areas.

Under the terms of the agreement, United and Archer will complement each other because each capability and strengths are different. To be specific, United will offer its expertise in airspace management to help Archer develop battery-powered, short-haul aircraft. Once the aircraft are in operation and have met United’s operating and business requirements, United, together with Mesa Airlines, would acquire a fleet of up to 200. These electric aircraft, which would be operated by a partner, are expected to give customers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United’s hub airports and commute in dense urban environments within the next five years.

Collaboration with Archer shows another example of United’s commitment to identifying and investing in innovative technology that can reduce carbon emissions, and the company try to improve the customer experience and to earn a strong financial return at the same time.

Who is United Airlines?

United Airlines, Inc. is one of the major American airline companies and its head office is located in Chicago, Illinois. United operates a large domestic and international route network both in the United States and all six continents. The company is a founding member of the Star Alliance, which is the world’s largest airline alliance with a total of 28 member airlines.

Based on United’s company page, its purpose is Connecting People and Uniting The World. The company tries to help unite the world by connecting people to the moments that matter most every day. This shared purpose drives them to be the best airline for their employees, customers and everyone they serve.

Who is Archer Aviation?

Based on the same United Airlines’ company blog post, Archer is the only vertically integrated airline company in the world and its office is located in Palo Alto, CA. The company’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility. Archer is creating the world’s first electric airline that moves people throughout the world’s cities in a quick, safe, sustainable, and cost-effective way. Archer’s business includes the design, manufacture, and operation of a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that can carry passengers for up to 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour while producing minimal noise.

Electrification can be a mega trend in the airline industry

As we can see the other article related to flight shame, the airline industry faces the two biggest challenges: Decrease of the number of passengers in both international and domestic flights, and Climate change

Frist, we can easily imagine that the number of passengers in both international and domestic flights decreases a lot due to the pandemic and each country’s travel restrictions. After the financial crisis, the number of flights by the global airline industry was increasing until the beginning of 2020. However, the pandemic made the number of passengers less than half of it compared to pre-pandemic level. The aviation industry is a business where fixed cost is high. Therefore, the number of flights and passengers is critical to make it profitable. However, the industry is also criticized because flight emits more greenhouse gases than other transportations do. This is the second challenge. As a result, the airline industry has to do two different things at the same time: To recover from the crisis and invest in the new technology. United’s approach is one example and we can expect that electric “air taxi” will be available in the near future.