Indigo Airlines’ parent company InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE) aims to bring electric Air Taxis in India by 2026, partnering with US-based firm Archer Aviation.
World’s most populous nation – India will soon get a new means of transport to combat the growing travel congestion in its major metro cities. With many aircraft firms engineering to make flying cars happen by as soon as 2025, Interglobe Enterprises (IGE), parent company of India’s Indigo Airlines, joins with U.S-based aircraft firm Archer Aviation, to bring the first air-taxis in India.
IGE and Archer Aviation signs memorandum of understanding (MoU) which includes purchase of 200 aircrafts from Archer Aviation, that will be flying in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
The venture is aimed at helping “improve mobility in these cities that are facing some of the greatest congestion challenges in the world as India’s population is now over 1.4 billion,” the companies say in a joint statement.
Electric Air Taxis in India
India will have 200 ‘Midnight’ electric VTOL air-taxis of Archer Aviation that’s specially designed to enhance urban mobility. The two firms will work together to operate the aircraft, finance and build vertiport (helipad) infrastructures, train pilots and other personnel needed for these operations as part of the overall arrangement.
The air-taxis will considerably reduce commuting time between neighboring cities. For instance, a 27-km trip from Connaught Place, Delhi to Gurugram which usually takes around 60 to 90 minutes by road, will only take approximately seven minutes on this Midnight air-taxi, IGE said.
Midnight air-taxis will also be ‘cost-competitive with ground transportation’. “Archer’s all-electric Midnight aircraft is designed to provide a revolutionary transportation solution that can help address traffic congestion issues in largest cities of India,” said Adam Goldstein, CEO and founder of Archer Aviation.
IGE, which owns 38% of Indigo Airlines, plans to use Archer’s e-aircraft also for cargo, logistics, medical, emergency and charter services.
The urban mobility aircraft of Archer Aviation – Midnight is a four-passenger e-VTOL aircraft that has a range of 160 km (100 miles) and optimized to conduct back-to-back flights of 32 km (20 miles) with 12 minutes of charge time in between. Capable to reach up to speeds of 241 kmph (150mph), Midnight can carry 1000+ lbs of payload – four passengers, a pilot and luggage.
Midnight is not a flying-car but a mini-aircraft that aims to solve urban road-congestion, especially in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai. Less than 3 years are left to witness air-taxi in the country.
Archer plans to make 6000 Midnight aircrafts by 2030. It partnered with UAE, signing MoU with Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) last month to launch its commercial air taxis by 2026. Archer will also start its operations in US by 2025 in Downtown Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport route, teaming up with United Airlines. Indeed, it also locked $142 million deal with US Air Force to supply six Midnight aircrafts.
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