In a notable development at the Dubai Air Show 2023, Archer Aviation, known for its advancements in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Air Chateau, a prominent private aviation operator in the UAE. The MOU encompasses a potential deal for Air Chateau to acquire up to 100 of Archer's Midnight eVTOL aircraft, approximated at $500 million, along with an initial non-refundable pre-delivery payment of $1 million due by December 31, 2023.
This strategic partnership is set to bolster Archer's recent announcement to initiate air taxi operations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by 2026. The collaboration aims to explore avenues for necessary infrastructure investment, preparing these cities for the anticipated operations.
Adam Goldstein, Archer's Founder and CEO, expressed excitement over Air Chateau's commitment to purchasing up to 100 Midnight aircraft, seeing it as a strong validation of Archer's efforts in revolutionizing urban mobility. The Dubai Air Show 2023 provided an ideal platform for Air Chateau's team to experience Archer's aircraft firsthand.
Dr. Samir Mohamed, Chairman and Founder of Air Chateau, highlighted the significance of this venture in marking a new era for the company. He emphasized the transition from being a helicopter infrastructure provider to embracing the future of urban air mobility with eVTOLs in Dubai and the broader UAE region. Dr. Mohamed recognized the pivotal role of visionary partners in progressing towards a new phase of air mobility in Dubai.
Air Chateau, known for its exclusive services catering to ultra-high-net-worth individuals, operates the first private heliport in the UAE at Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport. The company's operations extend across the UAE, offering last-mile services connecting airports, cities, strategic points, and key attractions.
Additionally, Archer’s initiative to establish an engineering Center of Excellence in the UAE reflects its commitment to supporting the advanced air mobility industry in the Middle East. This move aligns with Archer's plans to collaborate with local manufacturing companies and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul providers in Abu Dhabi, contributing to the growth of the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry cluster in the region.
The MOU between Archer and Air Chateau signifies not only a potential business transaction but also a shared vision for the future of urban air mobility, paving the way for a transformative shift in transportation within the UAE and potentially setting a precedent for the global eVTOL market.