Monday, April 15, 2024

United Airlines to bring first eVTOL Commuter Flights to San Francisco

The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft market is witnessing rapid growth, driven by the increasing demand for efficient and sustainable transportation solutions. There are a number of companies competing to bring its design into production.

Now, Eve Air Mobility and United Airlines have revealed plans to bring Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to San Francisco by launching electric commuter flights throughout the Bay Area. Both companies will work with local and state officials, infrastructure, energy, and technology providers to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to introduce eVTOL aircraft flights. They are also working together to identify origin and destination areas and the future route network for Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

“Urban Air Mobility has the potential to revolutionize how United customers work, live, and travel,” said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures. “Eve’s proposed route is a critical first step towards making this all-electric and quiet commute a reality for Bay Area residents.”

Eve’s eVTOL will offer United’s customers a quick, economical, and lower-carbon way to get to its hub airports and commute in dense urban environments. The 100% electric eVTOL has a range of 60 miles (100 km), allowing it to complete a variety of urban air mobility missions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its human-centered design ensures the comfort of passengers, the pilot, and the community by minimizing noise.

With specialized rotors for vertical flight and fixed wings for cruising, the aircraft features a lift and cruise configuration with no components required to change position during flight. It will be piloted at launch but evolve towards uncrewed operations in the future.

Eve noted that eVTOL flights in the Bay Area are expected to have a positive economic impact on the community, including new employment opportunities. Developing the necessary infrastructure to support eVTOL operations is also expected to contribute value and employment opportunities to the community.

Last year, United announced a $15 million investment in Eve Air Mobility and a conditional purchase agreement for 200 eVTOLs plus 200 options. The investment was part of its strategy to invest in cutting-edge technologies as the airline stakes out its position as a leader in investing in aviation sustainability and innovation technologies.

United Airlines aims to benefit from Eve’s relationship with its parent firm Embraer, a trusted aircraft manufacturer with a proven track record of building and certifying aircraft over the company’s 53-year history. The partnership will see United and Eve Mobility get access to Embraer’s global service centers, parts warehouses, and field service technicians, paving the way for a reliable operation.

Eve’s eVTOL is scheduled to enter service in 2026.