Archer has signed a deal with Air Chateau International for the planned purchase of up to 100 aircraft.
The deal, which could be worth up to $500m if all 100 aircraft are bought and delivered, will see Air Chateau pay an initial non-refundable, pre-delivery payment of $1m by the end of the year. It is understood that $4m of additional pre-delivery payments have also been paid following the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) today at the Dubai Airshow.
Air Chateau plans to own and operate Archer’s eVTOL, known as Midnight in the UAE and surrounding region. The firm the first private heliport operator in the UAE to have its heliport and lounge terminal at the land side of Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai Helipark and with multiple touch points across the UAE. It offers last mile services to ultra-high net worth individuals, including connection between airports and cities.
Adam Goldstein, Archer founder and CEO said: “It was an honour hosting Air Chateau’s team at the Dubai Air Show 2023 during which they were able to touch, see and feel our aircraft as it headlined the show. Their recognition that our Midnight aircraft meets what the customer demands in the UAE market and desire to secure the purchase of up to 100 Midnight aircraft is another exciting validation of our efforts to bring to market an aircraft that will revolutionise how people move in and around cities.”
The two companies will now work to formalise the agreements covering the planned purchase over the coming months. The relationship comes on the back of Archer’s recently announced plans to commence air taxi operations in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2026. Air Chateau will assist Archer with infrastructure investment where it is needed in both cities to be ready for operations.
Dr. Samir Mohamed, chairman and founder of Air Chateau, said: “This remarkable opportunity signifies the ongoing evolution of Air Chateau, heralding a transformative era in our industry. Embarking on our journey into being an infrastructure provider two years ago for helicopters, today, we stand at the precipice of realising our vision for the future of urban air mobility with eVTOLs in Dubai and across the UAE.”
As part of Archer’s plans in the UAE, the OEM also laid out its intent to build an engineering “Center of Excellence” to support the growing AAM industry in the country and across the Middle East. The centre will collaborate with local manufacturing companies and MRO providers in Abu Dhabi to assist in the production of eVTOL aircraft.
Earlier this month, Archer revealed its plans to launch similar services in India with InterGlobe Enterprises. Part of the deal will see InterGlobe, one of India’s biggest travel and hospitality firms, finance the purchase of up to 200 of Archer’s Midnight aircraft. They plan to work with a number of in-country business partners to operate the aircraft, finance and build vertiport infrastructure and train pilots.
Rahul Bhatia, group MD InterGlobe, said: “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.”