United plans to fly people from the city centers of New York and Chicago to major airports using a 4-seat electric air taxi

Archer's Midnight eVTOL in flight with United Airlines livery.
United Airlines
  • United Airlines and electric aircraft manufacturer Archer Aviation have announced a second air taxi route.

  • The pair plans to fly between Chicago's city center and O'Hare International Airport starting in 2025.

  • Archer's four-seater air taxi is known as Midnight and can complete the flight in 10 minutes.

United Airlines and electric aircraft manufacturer Archer Aviation have announced another approved air tax route in the US.

united airlines
United Airlines Boeing wide body 777-200 aircraft.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starting in 2025, United passengers will be able to connect from Chicago's city center to O'Hare International Airport using Archer's 4-seater electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft known as Midnight.

Archer's Midnight eVTOL in flight with United Airlines livery.
United Airlines

Source: Archer Aviation


Specifically, the route will fly between O'Hare — the US' third busiest airport — and Vertiport Chicago, which is a helicopter facility located in the Illinois Medical District west of the Loop.

White helicopter sitting at Veriport Chicago.
Traditional helicopters are currently used to connect to the heliport to O'Hare.Veriport Chicago

Source: Archer Aviation, World Population View

According to Archer, the flight will take approximately 10 minutes, allowing passengers to avoid congested city traffic, noting "a similar trip by car can take upwards of an hour or more during rush hour."

Archer's Midnight eVTOL.
Archer's Midnight eVTOL.Archer Aviation

Source: Archer Aviation

"Once operational, we're excited to offer our customers a more sustainable, convenient, and cost-effective mode of transportation during their commutes to the airport," United United Airlines Ventures president Michael Leskinen said.

Archer's Midnight eVTOL with a person walking next to it.
Archer Aviation

Source: Archer Aviation

The Chicago route will complement the duo's already announced flight between downtown Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport — a major United hub.

United planes at adjacent gates at Newark.
United aircraft at Newark.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: Archer Aviation

The New York City route is the first-ever commercial eVTOL route announced in the US, marking a major milestone in urban air mobility — a market airlines see as a promising way to reduce their carbon footprint and offer more convenience to customers.

Joby Aviation.
Delta made a $60 million investment into Joby Aviation's eVTOL (pictured) in October 2022.Delta Air Lines

Source: Archer Aviation

"This exciting new technology will further decarbonize our means of transportation, taking us another step forward in our fight against climate change," Chicago mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said.

The production plant in Georgia.
A rendering of Archer's planned production plant in Georgia.Archer Aviation

Source: Archer Aviation

To operate these routes, United has agreed to buy up to 200 Midnight eVTOLs in a deal worth $1 billion. The aircraft can carry up to four people, their luggage, and one pilot…

The interior of Archer's Midnight eVTOL with wide seats with headrests.
Archer Aviation

Source: Archer AviationUnited just ordered $1 billion worth of eVTOLs from a startup that aims to launch intra-city passenger flights in 2024

…and fly up to 150 miles per hour across 100 miles. However, Archer said Midnight has been optimized to fly back-to-back flights of about 20 miles with a rapid 12-minute recharge time in between.