Uber and Airbus team up to provide on-demand helicopter rides
18 January 2016
Airbus will cooperate with US ride-hailing service Uber Technologies to provide on-demand flights with its H125 and H130 helicopters, according to Airbus chief executive, Tom Enders.
The project is aimed to make helicopter flights available to a wider audience.
The initiative comes after Uber rolled out UberChopper in 2013 to transport vacationers from Manhattan to the Hamptons. The company has also tried out helicopter rides for major recreational events like music and arts festivals.
Uber is not the only company looking at making inroads into traditional transportation methods.
Its rival, Blade, hit the headlines after offering five-minute helicopter rides in New York City to help beat traffic when the Pope came visiting. Users have to only reserve a seat on a chopper via an app and pay $95 for a ride.
With the new partnership, the European aerospace company would offer Airbus H125 and H130 helicopters for Uber riders during the Sundance Film Festival, which gets underway on 21 January.
"It's a pilot project, we'll see where it goes -- but it's pretty exciting," the company's chief executive told The Wall Street Journal.
The cooperation with Uber is part of Enders' innovation initiative at the European aerospace giant. The company's Silicon Valley branch has also allocated $150 million for venture funding in promising aerospace startups.