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For most travelers during this pandemic, flying is but a distant memory. With even the hardiest of travelers find themselves grounded for the past year, many airlines around the world have been struggling to keep themselves afloat, taking to cutting their fleet and suspending most of the routes that were on offer this time last year.
However, one airline has emerged from the pandemic with an eye on the future of travel. United Airlines has invested a significant amount of money in flying taxis for passengers, as well as introducing new routes for summer, as it looks beyond the pandemic and into the future.
Flying Taxis – The Future For Travelers?
With hundreds of airlines around the world relying on government assistance and scaled-down operations to make it through the past year, United Airlines has somewhat bucked the trend, with the airline reportedly lodging a staggering $1 billion order of technology the company thinks may be the future.
Palo Alto-based aviation startup Archer has created an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft that has more-than caught the attention of the US’s second-largest airline, leading to the order of 200 of the craft this week. The airline plans to use the craft to taxi passenger to the airport, lifting them over congested highways, cutting not only travel time but carbon emissions in the process. Archer, the company behind the aircraft, claim that they can reach a top speed of 240 km/h, and have a flying range of 95km.
However, the aircraft will not be picking up travelers any time soon. It is still in the design phase, with production not planned until 2023, so a more realistic timeframe until they are used to ferry passengers would be 2024. Co-CEO of Archer, Brett Adcock, is confident that the aircraft will “transform consumer travel and everyday life,” so they might just be worth the wait.
Archer isn’t the only company looking to explore this market. Volocopter, a Germany-based company, hopes to find success with its Volocity helicopter, and has already completed more than 1000 test flights. Another company, Elevate, was pioneered by taxi company Uber, but the company recently sold it to California-based company Joby Aviation.
With inner-city traffic getting and flights around the world expected to increase in volume, flying taxis may well be a solution to a problem that will only get worse with time, and could soon become as much of a part of a traveler’s routine as checking you remembered to bring your passport.
United Adds Hawaii Routes – Information For Travelers
United Airlines has recently added new routes to Hawaii for the summer, giving travelers something to look forward to in the future. The airline had previously announced routes between Chicago and Kona, as well as New York/Newark to Maui, both of which are to start from June 3rd, and a further new route was added this week.
Beginning May 6th, United will be offering a non-stop flight from Orange County, California, to Honolulu, as the airline vows to become the number one choice for travel to Hawaii. Hawaii has recently made travel easier for travelers, as it allowed those with negative Covid-19 test results to skip the screening on arrival as well as the mandatory 10-day quarantine, providing they fulfill the state’s Covid-19 screening requirements.
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