Archer Aviation , backed by Stellantis and Boeing, aims to begin trials of its electric air taxi in India next year, ahead of a planned commercial launch in 2026, the company's chief executive told Reuters on Friday.

U.S.-based Archer last year partnered with InterGlobe Enterprises, which backs India's top airline IndiGo, to launch the air taxis to help people avoid ground traffic in congested cities.

"Hopefully for next year, we will be able to bring planes here at the very least from a demonstrations perspective and fly them around. The goal is to help prepare the public for a new form of transportation," Adam Goldstein, who also founded Archer, said in New Delhi.

Archer is working with India's aviation watchdog to get the "appropriate regulatory approvals" before it can begin trials in the country, its chief commercial officer Nikhil Goel said, adding it is already conducting trials in California.

For commercial operations, Archer is in final stages of getting approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, which it expects will come through next year, after which it will seek clearances in India.

It will first launch in New York and India will be its first international market, Goel said.

Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL), also known as flying taxis, have been touted as the future of urban air mobility. The low-altitude aircraft would travel between cities and airports avoiding traffic, but face a number of challenges before they can become a reality.

Archer and InterGlobe will, in a joint venture, own and operate 200 of the 'Midnight' aircraft, valued at $1 billion. It will launch services in India's capital New Delhi, and Mumbai and Bengaluru cities.

The aircraft can carry four passengers and a pilot for up to 100 miles (161 kilometres), and cover in 7 minutes the same distance that would take 60-90 minutes in a car in New Delhi. For a trip costing $12-$18 in a premium rideshare product, a seat in the air taxi will cost $36-$48, Goldstein said.

Archer will begin manufacturing the plane at its factory in Georgia this year and is working with carmaker Stellantis to scale manufacturing globally and possibly in India.

"India will be the biggest market in the world for us. It's a very important market," he said.