United: Small electric air taxis will zip people to airports

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines says it could be using small electric-powered air taxis to take customers to the airport within a few years.

United said Wednesday that it will buy up to 200 small aircraft capable of helicopter-style takeoffs and landings from startup Archer.

That company hopes to deliver its first aircraft in 2024. The aircraft are designed to fly up to 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph, meaning they could zip customers from downtown areas to airports in New York, Chicago and elsewhere.

Separately, Archer is announcing plans to merge with Atlas Crest Investment in a deal they value at $3.8 billion.