Delta will pioneer a home-to-airport aerial taxi service for its customers, offering a fast, sustainable and traffic-free transfer. Rose Dykins reports

Delta has teamed up with Joby Aviation to launch a first-of-its kind fleet of all-electric aerial taxis designated for seamless home-to-airport travel for its passengers.

The companies will collaborate to integrate a Joby-operated service into Delta’s customer experience. Delta passengers travelling through New York and Los Angeles will be able to reserve a seat on a zero-emission, short-range Joby journey either to or from the cities’ airports when booking their flight with the airline.

Joby’s all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) is designed to fly in and around cities. Passengers can board the aircraft from a helipad in Downtown New York and reach JFK airport in just seven minutes (compared to 49 minutes by car).

The aircraft has completed more than 1,000 test flights, and is now able to offer a viable alternative to taking a taxi to the airport by road – one that is emission-free, with a low noise profile.

Joby is the first eVTOL company to be given a G-1 (Stage 4) Certification Basis for its aircraft by the FAA and recently received its Part 135 Air Carrier Certification.

Delta has invested US$60 million in Joby, with the opportunity to expand the total investment up to US$200 million as milestones are reached on the development and delivery of the service.

Delta and Joby will create a  premium experience for Delta customers featuring seamless booking, simplified transit and greater time saving, which will run alongside Joby’s standard airport transportation service in priority markets.

The Delta and Jony partnership will be mutually exclusive across the US and the UK for at least five years.

Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, says: “Delta always looks forward and embraces opportunities to lead the future, and we’ve found in Joby a partner that shares our pioneering spirit and commitment to delivering innovative, seamless experiences that are better for our customers, their journeys, and our world.

“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 and innovating in for many years.”

In early 2022, Delta unveiled multi-billion-dollar terminal transformations at both New York’s LaGuardia airport and Los Angeles International, cementing its commitment to the two hub airports, by creating a more efficient and seamless experience for customers when they arrive for their flight.

The airline is also continuing to invest in digital identity technology in these and other airports, which allows customers to move through the airport using facial matching, which negates the need to show a boarding pass or government ID.

Finally, Delta recently debuted its Parallel Reality experience at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, bringing to life a technology that was first previewed at CES tech conference in 2020.