Rahul Bhatia, owner of IndiGo, plans to launch an air taxi service that can connect Connaught Place in Delhi to Gurugram in seven minutes, according to a company announcement. On Thursday, Bhatia’s InterGlobe Enterprises signed an MoU with US-based electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft-developer Archer Aviation Inc, to launch air taxi service across India in 2026. The launch will be subject to appropriate regulatory approvals and clearances.

The parties intend to work with select in-country business partners to operate Archer’s  aircraft, finance and build vertiport infrastructure, and train pilots and other personnel needed for these operations. The partnership also plans to finance the purchase of up to 200 of Archer’s Midnight aircraft for the India operations, the companies announced.

Archer’s Midnight aircraft is a piloted four-passenger electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flight with minimal charge time between flight.

Archer’s Midnight aircraft received US Federal Aviation Administration nod for test flights in August, and is among several eVTOLs under development globally. German firm Volocopter plans to offer the first commercial air taxi service in Paris during the 2024 Olympics.

Aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing are investing in development of eVTOLs, including the Midnight aircraft. Regulatory framework, too, is evolving, with European Aviation Safety Agency proposing rules that will pave the way for air taxi operations in the continent.

“We are excited at this new opportunity of bringing an effective, futuristic and sustainable transport solution by introducing Archer’s electric aircraft to India,” said InterGlobe Group Managing Director Rahul Bhatia.

Nikhil Goel, Chief Commercial Officer of Archer Aviation, added “At Archer, our goal is to make cities greener, smarter, more efficient places to live. We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Rahul and the InterGlobe team to bring our Midnight aircraft to Indian cities and fundamentally transform mobility across the country, with the goal of starting with Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.”

InterGlobe is not the first company to announce air taxi service in India. Last September, FlyBlade India which offers urban helicopter services, announced a non-binding order for up to 200 eVTOLs from Embraer-backed Eve. In March it signed a MOU with Jaunt Air Mobility to launch eVTOL operations in the country by 2027.

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