Eve Air Mobility and United Airlines announced plans to bring Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to San Francisco by launching electric commuter flights throughout the Bay Area. The companies are also working together to identify origin and destination areas and the future route network for Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
“Our shared goal is to provide residents and visitors to the San Francisco Bay area with efficient and cost-competitive transportation in one of the most densely populated urban areas in the U.S.,” said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve Air Mobility. “The Bay Area is perfect for eVTOL flights given its size, traffic, focus on sustainability, innovation and commitment to add other options for mobility.”
“Urban Air Mobility has the potential to revolutionize how United customers work, live, and travel,” said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures. “Eve’s proposed route is a critical first step towards making this all-electric and quiet commute a reality for Bay Area residents.”
In 2022, United announced a $15 million investment in Eve Air Mobility and a conditional purchase agreement for 200 eVTOLs plus 200 options, part of its strategy to invest in cutting-edge technologies as the airline stakes out is position as a leader in investing in aviation sustainability and innovation technologies. United’s investment in Eve was driven in part by confidence in the potential growth opportunities in the UAM market and Eve’s unique relationship with Embraer, a trusted aircraft manufacturer with a proven track record of building and certifying aircraft over the company’s 53-year history. A key piece of the relationship includes access to Embraer’s global service centers, parts warehouses and field service technicians, paving the way for a reliable operation. Upon entry into service, United could have its entire eVTOL fleet serviced by Eve’s service and support network.
Eve’s eVTOL will offer United’s customers a quick, economical and lower-carbon way to get to its hub airports and commute in dense urban environments, as compared with conventional air taxis and other forms of traditional public transportation. Eve’s eVTOL is 100% electric and has a range of 60 miles (100 kilometers) allowing it to complete a variety of urban air mobility missions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its human-centered design better ensures the comfort of passengers, the pilot and the community by minimizing noise. The aircraft features a lift + cruise configuration with dedicated rotors for vertical flight and fixed wings to fly on cruise, with no components required to change position during flight. It will be piloted at launch but evolving towards uncrewed operations in the future.
In addition to a new, efficient transportation option, Eve noted that eVTOL flights in the Bay Area are expected to have a positive economic impact on the community including new employment opportunities. Positions ranging from pilots and aircraft service technicians to training and technical services are among the numerous roles that will be needed as eVTOL flights are introduced and expand. The development of the necessary infrastructure to support eVTOL operations is also expected to contribute value and employment opportunities to the community.
Eve’s eVTOL is scheduled to enter service in 2026.
Why it’s important: The announcement is an important first step as both companies will be working with local and state officials, infrastructure, energy and technology providers to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to introduce electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft flights. Further, this announcement confirms many experts’ analyses that the Bay Area will be amongst the first developed AAM markets in the US.