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Archer and Joby score UAE air taxi deals
The OEMs have inked agreements with Abu Dhabi and Dubai to establish air taxi operations within an AAM ecosystem; Archer with its Midnight aircraft and Joby with the JAS4-1.
The multi million dollar investment will accelerate Archer's planned air taxi operations in the UAE, slated to launch as soon as next year.
Read this story in our June 2024 printed issue.

Archer Aviation has signed a multi-million dollar investment agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to accelerate planned commercial air taxi operations in the UAE, slated to launch with the Midnight aircraft as soon as next year. Meanwhile Joby Aviation is laying the groundwork to establish and scale its own air taxi services in Abu Dhabi and beyond through a multilateral MoU with the Department of Municipalities and Transport - Abu Dhabi; the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development ; and the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhab.

Key components of the Archer agreement include vertiport construction, operational enablement of air taxi operations and in-country manufacturing of its eVTOL aircraft. ADIO will create local workforce development programmes for Emirati talent and facilitate the establishment of Archer's international headquarters and centre of excellence in Abu Dhabi.

"This substantial agreement with Abu Dhabi is a pivotal moment for Archer's commercialisation efforts across the Emirates as it provides the catalyst to accelerate the launch of our electric air taxi service in the UAE as soon as late 2025. The agreement underscores Abu Dhabi's strong commitment to Archer and conviction to become a global hub for urban air mobility. With Abu Dhabi's support, we are poised to continue leading the transformation of urban transportation in the Emirate and across the globe," says founder and CEO Adam Goldstein.

ADIO will support the development of vertiports for Archer and other air taxi operators in critical locations throughout Abu Dhabi, enhancing the UAM infrastructure necessary for Archer to scale operations.

ADIO and Archer first announced their MoU in 2023 at the launch of ADIO's Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry (SAVI) cluster, which supports the innovation and commercialisation of smart and autonomous vehicles across land, sea and air. This framework agreement represents the culmination of six months of close collaboration between the two entities.

Joby too is part of the SAVI cluster and has the exclusive right to operate air taxi services in Dubai, which it expects to start as early as next year. The agreement also unlocks the potential for inter-emirate air taxi services, for example between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt says: “This agreement demonstrates the incredible momentum behind the adoption of clean flight across the UAE. We're looking forward to delivering a fantastic experience for our future customers in Abu Dhabi, and we're excited to be unlocking the potential for zero-emissions flight between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We're grateful for the support and collaboration of our governmental partners and the entire ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, and we remain deeply impressed by their commitment to building out a world-class aviation ecosystem in the Emirate.”

Joby has been working closely with the UAE’s GCAA to define a path to support the region in its introduction of air taxis. The GCAA regulatory framework builds upon FAA standards with additional company testing and analysis alongside a high level of regulator oversight and an ongoing review process to ensure safety for early operations. Inter-emirate travel would require additional approval from the GCAA.

Other News
 
Archer receives FAA certification to begin operating commercially
June 7, 2024
The OEM already has FAA Part 145 certification from the FAA, so getting Part 135 means it now has the two key operational certificates required to start air taxi operations when Midnight receives its type certification.
Archer engages eVTOL pilot training support in Abu Dhabi
May 20, 2024
Archer completes high-volume battery pack manufacturing line
May 9, 2024
Hires and new premises position Archer for commercial launch
April 22, 2024
Archer Aviation has made a number of key hires to bolster its government relations efforts, and has opened a Washington DC office.