Step aside Uber, there’s a new Delta Airlines air taxi service in town
In a partnership with green vertical takeoff and landing aircraft developer Joby Aviation, a Delta Airlines air taxi service was announced on Tuesday to replace ground transportation with the delivery of air transportation to hasten airport commutes.
Delta will invest $60 million in Joby, and in exchange, the world’s largest airline will receive a 2% stake in Joby and a seat on their board. An additional $140 million is also promised if certain milestones are met. Together, they intend to provide a premium service run by Joby which allows Delta passengers to book via Delta’s website and mobile app when purchasing flight tickets.
“This is a groundbreaking opportunity for Delta to deliver a time-saving, uniquely premium home-to-airport solution for customers in key markets we’ve been investing in for many years,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian in regards to the upcoming Delta Airlines air taxi service.
As an independent contractor, Joby will provide air transportation within its regional networks. Following the commercial launch, the partnership will be “mutually exclusive” for five years according to Delta. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety clearance for Joby’s five-seat tilt-rotor aircraft is expected to occur in 2024, at which point limited passenger service will begin.
Joby also plans to provide airport shuttle services independently of the partnership, in which they claim will stand apart by offering passengers a quicker trip through pick up and drop off at Delta terminals. According to CEO Ed Bastian, Delta wants to handle security screening prior to air taxi flights and bring passengers straight to flight boarding.
The Joby and Delta Airlines air taxi service will start in airports in New York City and Los Angeles, but they hope to ultimately expand the service around the United States and outside of the country. A launch date has not yet been specified.