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Archer makes UAE its first international launch partner
Alongside ADIO and the Department of Economic Development, Archer will bring air taxi manufacturing and operations to Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Badr Salim Al-Olama, Archer CEO Adam Goldstein and CCO Nikhil Goel during the signing ceremony.
Read this story in our November 2023 printed issue.

Archer Aviation is working with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to make Abu Dhabi its first international launch partner, with plans to commence air taxi operations there in 2026. As part of this strategic initiative, ADIO plans to support Archer with incentives for establishing its first international headquarters and manufacturing facilities in the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) Cluster.

ADIO and Archer held a signing ceremony at which they, along with several other aviation industry participants from across the region, including Falcon Aviation and GAL-AMMROC, committed to support this strategic initiative. Archer is still in discussions with numerous other industry participants that it plans to share at the Dubai Air Show in November, as well as at the​ Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF) hosted by ICAO and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) the following week in Dubai​.

Archer is seeking to work with its global manufacturing partner Stellantis, as well as local partners in the UAE, to build out its aircraft manufacturing capabilities and its centre of excellence in Abu Dhabi. The centre of excellence will be focused on the development and implementation of next-generation aviation technologies.

His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the GCAA, says: “The GCAA recently visited Archer Aviation's global headquarters in California to inspect its Midnight aircraft and learn about its certification progress with the FAA. Our goal is to approve Archer's air taxi to fly in the UAE as soon as it is certified by the FAA, and we are very excited to collaborate with them to bring electric air taxis to the country.”

His Excellency Badr Al-Olama, acting director general of the ADIO, adds: “We are thrilled to work with Archer to host its first international operations in Abu Dhabi. 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.”

Archer has raised over $1.1 billion of funding to date, including investments from Mubadala Capital, United Airlines, Stellantis and Boeing.

Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein says: “We are excited to announce this joint collaboration for the United Arab Emirates to become our first international market outside of the US. Archer plans to partner closely with ADIO and the Department of Economic Development to bring manufacturing and operations for our air taxis to the region. Together, we are positioned to be a driving force in making all-electric air taxis a reality in the skies of the UAE and beyond in the coming years.”

Meera Al Suwaidi, head of value creation at Mubadala Investment Company, says: “Through our asset management subsidiary Mubadala Capital, we have been an investor in Archer for several years. We are looking forward to working alongside it for the debut of their Midnight aircraft at the Dubai Air Show later this year and to continue discussions on further expanding our collaboration.”

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, adds: “We are excited to be working with Archer to begin establishing a high-volume manufacturing facility for the Midnight aircraft in the US over the last couple of years. 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.”

Archer is working with numerous industry partners across the UAE to support its plans to commercialise operations in the UAE by 2025. It has signed MOUs with Abu Dhabi rotary and fixed wing operator Falcon Aviation, which will operate its air taxis across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as local MRO GAL-AMMROC, which will provide MRO support for the eVTOL aircraft.

Falcon vice chairman Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa says: “Falcon Aviation has built an unparalleled reputation for flying passengers in helicopters across the UAE for nearly two decades. With this agreement with Archer, we look forward to continuing to provide world-class passenger transport in all-electric air taxis across Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the next decades to come.”

Mahmood Alhay Alhameli, CEO of GAL-AMMROC, adds: “Based on Archer's eVTOL technology, its plans to launch and manufacture in the UAE, coupled with our trusted experience in providing MRO services for our wide range of industry-leading clients, GAL-AMMROC is proud to have been chosen as the launch partner for Archer.”

Archer's goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60-90 minute commutes by car with estimated 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise and cost-competitive with ground transportation. Archer's Midnight is a piloted, four passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time between flights.

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