California-based air taxi plane developer Archer Aviation has announced the first airport-to-city-center route it intends to operate beginning in 2025, connecting Manhattan and the Newark Liberty International Airport hub of the company’s shareholder and strategic partner United Airlines.
Archer calls its planned flight path between New York City and the Newark airport the first specified route thus far announced by a future air taxi operator. It says the service will use the existing infrastructure of the Downtown Manhattan Heliport located just above Battery Park for flights to and from Newark – an estimated 10-minute aerial trip that can take between 40 to over 60 minutes using the 14 miles of often clogged roadways.
Working in partnership with United to quickly transport the airline’s arriving and departing clients between the two vertiports, Archer plans to use the Manhattan-Newark air taxi route as the foundation for a larger urban air mobility (UAM) network serving municipalities across the entire New York Metropolitan Area.
The announcement follows last month’s agreement by Joby’s to operate electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi services for premium Delta clients between airports and yet-to-be designated locations in New York and Los Angeles, before extending those to other cities.
Archer’s specified Newark-Manhattan link will be flown by its battery-powered Midnight air taxi – the production aircraft the company will be officially unveiling next week. Intended for launch in 2025, that initial service will focus on facilitating travel for United passengers between the airport and downtown – marking further evolution of airline’s investment and development support of Archer’s eVTOL activity.
“Once operational, electric air taxis will fundamentally change how United customers experience comfort, convenience, and efficiency during their commutes to the airport,” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures. “Archer’s New York to Newark route marks another important benchmark towards providing a carbon-neutral and safe commute that drastically reduces the travel time and produces a fraction of the sound emitted by helicopters.”
Archer says initial air taxi services like the one between Manhattan and Newark will operate as primary, or “trunk” routes between high-demand destinations. Once those have been fully established, it will add “branch” services to them, connecting an increasingly wider area of surrounding communities.
“We’re excited to be confirming New York as the first of many routes we’ll be announcing alongside United as we work to build out our national UAM network,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with United and to working closely with state and local government leaders in the New York and New Jersey area as we bring this exciting new form of transportation to life.”