Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR), a frontrunner in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has inked a monumental Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Air Chateau International DWC LLC at the Dubai Air Show 2023. The agreement outlines Air Chateau’s intended purchase of up to 100 of Archer’s cutting-edge Midnight eVTOL aircraft, amounting to an estimated $500 million. The deal includes an initial non-refundable pre-delivery payment of $1 million due by December 31, 2023.
As part of the agreement, Air Chateau plans to own and operate the Midnight aircraft in the region. The companies will collaboratively work on finalizing definitive agreements over the next few months, with an additional $4 million in pre-delivery payments anticipated after signing.
Air Chateau International, a prominent private aviation operator in the UAE, holds the distinction of being the first private heliport operator in the country. Its heliport and lounge terminal, strategically positioned at Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport, known as Dubai Helipark, facilitates last-mile services targeting ultra-high net worth individuals. These services include connectivity between airports, cities, and key attractions.
This strategic collaboration aligns with Archer’s recent announcement to commence air taxi operations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by 2026. The partnership also aims to explore opportunities for joint infrastructure investment, essential for preparing these cities for the planned air taxi operations.
Archer Founder and CEO, Adam Goldstein, expressed his honor in hosting Air Chateau’s team at the Dubai Air Show, highlighting the significance of their recognition of Archer’s Midnight aircraft meeting the demands of the UAE market. He stated, “Their 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 revolutionize how people move in and around cities.”
Dr. Samir Mohamed, Chairman and Founder of Air Chateau, emphasized the transformative nature of this opportunity, marking a new era in the aviation industry. He underscored the pivotal role of visionary partners in their journey and expressed gratitude for the chance to pave the way for the future of Air Mobility in Dubai alongside Archer.
In October, Archer had announced plans to establish an engineering Center of Excellence in the UAE, supporting the burgeoning advanced air mobility industry in the region. The collaboration includes efforts to work with local manufacturing companies and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul providers in Abu Dhabi, contributing to the growth of the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry cluster in the region.