Archer Aviation, which is set to run air taxis in the UAE next year, on Monday announced the recruitment and training of pilots to operate electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, bringing the launch of air taxi operations in the country a step closer to reality.

The US-based company has partnered with Abu Dhabi-headquartered Etihad Aviation Training (EAT) to recruit and train prospective pilots to fly its Midnight aircraft.

EAT offers training courses for airport, pilot, and cabin crew staff. It has listed Etihad Airways, Wizz Air, AirArabia, flydubai, Oman Air and many other carriers as its industry partners and customers.

In April, Archer Aviation received multi-hundred-million dollar investments from Abu Dhabi to manufacture Midnight in UAE and establish its international headquarters in the Emirates.

The investments were also aimed at constructing vertiports in critical locations across Abu Dhabi and accelerate Archer’s launch of commercial air taxi operations in the UAE next year.

Archer’s Midnight will reduce travel time from 60-90 minute car commutes to an estimated 10-20 minute electric air taxi flight. Archer’s Midnight is a piloted, four-passenger aircraft for rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time between flights.

EAT will provide local guidance and expertise in line with the guidelines of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and other local authorities to establish appropriate pilot training requirements in the UAE.

“Training a fleet of pilots to operate our aircraft is a critically important part of our efforts to establish a thriving urban air mobility network in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE. We will commence a thoughtful recruiting process and begin to train the first class of qualified pilots to operate Archer’s Midnight aircraft for commercial operations within the region” said Nikhil Goel, chief commercial officer at Archer Aviation.

Captain Paolo La Cava, CEO of Etihad Training, said they recruit and train pilots to fly with dozens of global airlines.

“We couldn’t be more excited to choose Archer as our first eVTOL partner to recruit and train the first class of electric air taxi pilots to fly Archer’s Midnight aircraft right here in Abu Dhabi as soon as 2025. We look forward to installing the Archer Midnight flight simulator in our facilities later this year,” he said.

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