With the rapid growth of populations in megacities, urbanization and traffic congestion are reaching critical levels, putting immense pressure on ground transport systems. However, there is a promising solution on the horizon that has the potential to revolutionize urban mobility: taking transportation to the skies. The concept of autonomous aerial vehicles and flying cars, once confined to the realms of science fiction, is now becoming a tangible reality with projects and trials actively happening across the globe.
Recognizing the transformative potential of emerging operations, major carriers have closely examined these developments, with a significant number of them making substantial investments in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. These carriers foresee the eVTOL sector becoming an integral part of the aviation industry.
Following this trend, United Airlines has announced a collaboration with Eve Air Mobility to introduce the first electric commuter flights to San Francisco. The announcement is an important first step in making Urban Air Mobility (UAM) a reality, 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 eVTOL aircraft flights in the Bay Area.
Eve Air Mobility, a subsidiary of Embraer and a prominent player in the emerging urban air mobility (UAM), specializes in developing eVTOL aircraft. Their cutting-edge technology aims to revolutionize urban air transportation and reduce carbon emissions. By teaming up with United Airlines, they are taking the first step in bringing electric aviation to one of the busiest travel hubs in the world.
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.Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve Air Mobility
The joint venture between United and Eve aims to offer electric commuter flights within the San Francisco Bay Area, providing a more sustainable, quicker and efficient mode of transportation for daily commuters.
San Francisco, with its bustling cityscape and heavy commuter traffic, provides an ideal testing ground for electric commuter flights. Although the Eve eVTOL’s range is limited to 60 miles (100km), the city’s close proximity to the airport makes it an optimal choice for the next-generation operation.
The introduction of eVTOL aircraft will not only offer a more efficient ways for travelers to navigate the city but also contribute to the region’s efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable transportation options, as the aircraft are 100% electric.
The Bay Area is perfect for eVTOL flights given its size, traffic, focus on sustainability, innovation and commitment to add other options for mobility.Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve Air Mobility
Starting in 2026, United passengers will be able to book a flight aboard an all-electric Eve eVTOL aircraft in San Francisco. Passengers will have the convenience of boarding these advanced electric aircraft from an eVTOL station located within the city, offering seamless transportation to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). This innovative initiative aims to significantly enhance the passenger journey while concurrently reducing travel time and carbon emissions. The aircraft will be piloted at launch but evolving towards uncrewed operations in the future.
In 2022, in a move aimed at solidifying its status as a pioneer in aviation sustainability and innovation, United Airlines made headlines by announcing a $15 million investment in Eve Air Mobility. The carrier also secured a conditional purchase agreement for 200 eVTOL aircraft, with the added option of acquiring an additional 200 at a later stage.