United Airlines has invested $15 million in Eve Air Mobility, a developer of electric aircraft that do vertical takeoffs and landings. 

United has also entered into a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat Eve aircraft, plus 200 options. The carrier said first deliveries are expected as early as 2026. 

Eve, which was founded by Embraer, has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since May. The company maintains a close commercial partnership with Embraer, including having access to Embraer engineers and infrastructure. 

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In an August presentation for investors, Eve said it had received more than 2,000 orders for its four-seat aircraft. U.S. regional airlines Republic and SkyWest are among those potential customers. Republic has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to buy up to 200 Eve craft and SkyWest has signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 100. 

Eve isn’t United’s first investment in electric vertical aircraft. Last month, the carrier provided California-based Archer Aviation with a $10 million prepayment. The move followed United’s decision early last year to enter into an agreement, in partnership with regional carrier Mesa Airlines, for the purchase of up to 200 Archer electric vertical aircraft. Archer projects certification of its aircraft will come in 2024. Archer said its aircraft will be capable of flying on batteries for 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph.

In a statement Thursday, United Airlines Ventures president Michael Leshkinen said the carrier’s new agreement with Eve “highlights our confidence in the urban air mobility market and serves as another important benchmark toward our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 — without using traditional offsets.”

Eve co-CEO Andre Stein said the company’s aircraft would provide United customers with “a quick, economical and sustainable way to get to its hub airports and commute in dense urban environments.”

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