Uber and Airbus are teaming up to take on-demand transportation to the skies, with a new partnership that will see Airbus providing the ride-sharing giant with helicopters.
The initiative is being launched at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where attendees will be able to hail helicopters to get around the event.
The process is similar to hailing a regular Uber - once you’ve ordered your helicopter via the Uber smartphone app, an Uber car will collect you and take you to a helipad for your flight.
While it’s certainly a novel way to get around, we’re sure it won’t come cheap – in 2013 Uber offered on-demand choppers from New York City to the Hamptons (a distance of around 160km, or a 40 minute flight) costing USD $3000 for up to 5 passengers.
Uber hasn’t yet revealed pricing details for Sundance Film Festival, and in the past there have been heavily discounted promotional flights for similar initiatives from Uber, such as the INR 5000 (around $100AUD) helicopter flight for two on Valentines Day in New Delhi.
Uber’s partnership with Airbus comes amid slow sales for Airbus helicopters – the French aerospace manufacturer sees the pilot program as a potential new segment that may help expand customer reach for helicopter operators and result in improved uptake of its helicopter range, sales of which have been sluggish due to the commodities downturn.
Airbus will be supplying Uber with H125 and H130 helicopters, which will be operated by a local Utah company.