American Airlines Group Inc. AAL -1.64% is the latest carrier to get in on the flying taxi trend as airlines, aerospace manufacturers and tech companies vie to get the new aircraft off the ground. The airline plans to invest $25 million in Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd., a U.K.-based electric aircraft startup.

The world’s largest carrier by traffic said it would buy as many as 250 of Vertical’s planned flying taxis as airlines and financiers look to back the nascent technology, with its partners in the venture taking potential orders to 1,000.

American said the aircraft, which are electric and take off and land vertically like helicopters, could zip customers around congested cities to get to and from airports. But that could be a long way off: Vertical plans to conduct the first test flight of its VA-X4 aircraft later this year, and American’s order is contingent on the aircraft’s approval by regulators and other milestones.

Vertical said its aircraft will hold four passengers and a pilot and fly at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour with a range of over 100 miles. Vertical said it aims to begin commercial operations in 2024 once European regulators sign off.