US air taxi developer Archer Aviation has a partnership with a South Korean firm aimed at launching commercialised passenger service in 2026 and possible demonstration flights later this year. 

California-headquartered Archer said on 30 May that it had signed an agreement with KakaoMobility, a tax-hailing service based on Seongnam, which includes $7 million payment to cover Archer’s early commercialisation efforts in the country – with more funding to follow in the second quarter of 2025. 


Source: Archer Aviations

Archer is exploring potential air taxi operations in South Korea

”KakaoMobility and Archer anticipate starting the service in Seoul, one of the most congested cities in the world, where the average commuter spends nearly 90min per day stuck in traffic,” Archer says.

The deal also includes KakaoMobility’s planned purchase of 50 Midnight air taxis at a total value of $250 million. 

Through Archer and KakaoMobility’s new partnership, the companies will participate in South Korea’s K-UAM Grand Challenge, a government-sponsored programme that seeks to jump-start urban air mobility operations. 

Archer is pushing to certificate the piloted, four-passenger Midnight with the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration as soon as next year. 

Notably, Archer’s rival Joby Aviation has a similar partnership with TMAP, another South Korean mobility platform.  Working with telecommunications company SK Telecom, those companies have been developing air taxi taxi routes and infrastructure in South Korea since striking a deal in May 2022. 

Florida-based air taxi developer Eve Air Mobility has also shown interest in South Korean operations, as has Southern California’s Overair.