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Korea’s KakaoMobility plans to offer electric air taxi flights by 2026

Archer Aviation has signed an agreement with mobility service platform KakaoMobility to work toward the Korean ride-hailing company’s plan to provide electric air taxi services to the over 30 million registered users of its Kakao T app starting as soon as 2026.

The service is expected to launch in Seoul, where commuters spend an average of 90 minutes a day stuck in traffic. As part of the deal KakaoMobility plans to purchase up to 50 of Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft valued at approximately $250 million.

In collaboration with LG UPlus Corp. and GS E&C, KakaoMobility selected California-based Archer as its partner to participate in Korea’s K-UAM Grand Challenge: a public-private joint demonstration to test the safety and suitability of commuting with eVTOL aircraft before the end of the year. KakaoMobility will make a $7 million payment to Archer this year, followed by a second installment in the first quarter of 2025.

Christopher SungWook Chang, senior vice president of KakaoMobility, expressed excitement about the partnership with Archer. “The vision is clear – reduce the hours lost in traffic and elevate everyday travel with an electric air taxi service that features Archer’s Midnight aircraft,” he said.

Archer’s chief commercial officer, Nikhil Goel, highlighted the expansion of the company’s international launch strategy to South Korea through this partnership.

“Together, we are committed to revolutionizing transportation with Archer’s eVTOL aircraft, ushering in a future of cleaner, faster and more efficient travel between and within Korean cities,” he said.

Last year Archer Aviation secured a $215 million equity investment to increase its overall funding to more than $1 billion. In 2022, United Airlines paid a $10 million deposit to Archer for 100 of its aircraft.

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