United Airlines wants to launch electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft flights in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The carrier is partnering with Embraer’s Brazilian subsidiary Eve Air Mobility on the project, with both companies now set to work “with local and state officials, infrastructure, energy and technology providers to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place” to introduce eVTOL services.
Eve said that it was also working with United “to identify origin and destination areas and the future route network for Urban Air Mobility (UAM)”.
Last year United invested $15 million in eVTOL manufacturer Eve, alongside a conditional purchase agreement for up to 400 aircraft.
Eve’s eVTOL design is currently scheduled to enter service in 2026, and will have a range of 60 miles, “allowing it to complete a variety of urban air mobility missions in the San Francisco Bay Area”.
The aircraft will initially be piloted, but there are plans to evolve “towards uncrewed operations in the future”.
An increasing number of airlines are looking towards eVTOL operations for the future of their short-haul networks, with Virgin Atlantic partnering with Bristol-based manufacturer Vertical Aerospace, and GOL, Azul and Japan Airlines all planning to launch eVTOL flights in the coming years.
Commenting on the news Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve Air Mobility, said:
“Our shared goal is to provide residents and visitors to the San Francisco Bay area with efficient and cost-competitive transportation in one of the most densely populated urban areas in the US.
“The Bay Area is perfect for eVTOL flights given its size, traffic, focus on sustainability, innovation and commitment to add other options for mobility.”