Uber Teams with Airbus for Helicopter Rental Service
PHOTO: Airbus' H125 helicopter will be among the offerings from Uber and Airbus' new join helicopter rental venture. (Courtesy of Airbus)
Ride-sharing service Uber has teamed up with aircraft manufacturer Airbus to allow users to rent helicopters or other forms of transportation as part of a (no pun intended) pilot project.
According to Javier E. David of CNBC.com, Silicon Valley-based initiative Airbus Ventures released a statement saying the company will operate with a $150 million commitment to “identify and invest in the most visionary entrepreneurs in the global aerospace ecosystem.”
Airbus is looking to adopt a new business model for helicopter operators who will now be called upon to provide on-demand transportation service. The new rental service would open operators to an even broader customer base.
The helicopters to be used in the trial period will be the H125 and H130 aircraft. The report from the Wall Street Journal suggests users will be dispatched a car by Uber that will pick them up and bring them to the helicopters.
While no price has been revealed for the helicopter rides, an Uber spokesperson told CNBC that the Sundance Film Festival will be the first event the service will be in use with the backing of Airbus, allowing guests to easily navigate to and from the event.
For Uber, the company first tested its UberChopper service between Manhattan and the Hamptons in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The announcement of the Airbus and Uber partnership also comes at a perfect time for Airbus, after the company’s CEO Tom Enders revealed previously that helicopter sales were down overall in 2015.
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