Indian travel company InterGlobe has signed an agreement with US-based electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Archer Aviation to bring the technology to air taxi services across India.
Best known as the parent company of low-budget airline Indigo, Interglobe’s partnership with the eVTOL aircraft manufacturer includes a plan to purchase up to 200 of Archer’s Midnight aircraft for use in cities across India to address congestion issues caused by a growing urban population.
Interglobe group managing director Rahul Bhatia signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Archer, saying: “Over the last two decades, InterGlobe has been involved in providing safe, efficient and affordable transportation to hundreds of millions of Indians across the country.
“We are excited at this new opportunity of bringing an effective, futuristic and sustainable transport solution by introducing Archer’s electric aircraft to India.”
According to the partnership, the initial goal for the two companies is to introduce services in Delhi, such as a seven-minute route between Gurugram and Connaught Place, a journey that takes 60 to 90 minutes by road.
The 27km journey reflects only a partial aspect of the Midnight aircraft’s potential capabilities, as it is designed to be capable of flying up to 100 miles, or 161km and is optimised for 32km journeys.
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Archer CEO and founder Adam Goldstein said: “India is one of if not the largest opportunity for eVTOL aircraft utilisation in the world, as it is home to the world’s largest population of over 1.4 billion people and its largest cities face some of the greatest congestion challenges in the world.
“Archer’s all-electric Midnight aircraft is designed to provide a revolutionary transportation solution that can help address these congestion issues.”
Alongside its passenger services and private charter ambitions, Interglobe said the partnership would also cover other uses of the aircraft, such as cargo, logistics, medical and emergency services.
Archer’s agreement with Interglobe continues a successful period for the company, which recently conducted the first full-scale air tests of its Midnight aircraft with an eye to approaching the US Federal Aviation Administration for certification of the eVTOL vehicle in 2024.