Archer Aviation Inc. reached a preliminary deal with the government of Abu Dhabi to work toward launching its electric air-taxi service in the United Arab Emirates by 2026, and to open its first non-US factory in the Gulf state.
The California start-up will open an engineering centre and work with manufacturing partner Stellantis to establish local production, according to a statement Monday. Abu Dhabi Investment Office will support the effort with incentives.
The preliminary agreements are set to deepen Archer’s ties to the Gulf state, after earlier securing backing from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Capital investment arm. The company said it’s in talks for more partnerships, including with local players, that it plans to announce at the Dubai Airshow in November, where it will showcase its Midnight aircraft.
The deal marks Archer’s first international partnership, as the firm targets expansion in the Middle East and Asia while working to secure Federal Aviation Administration approvals to make and operate the electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs, in the US.
“Our goal is to approve Archer’s air taxi to fly in the UAE as soon as it is certified by the FAA,” Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said in the statement.