Friday, 05 June, 2020

Uber's first helicopter rides set for New York

Uber Copter to Offer Helicopter Rides Starting in July Davis Uber AFP
Ginger Lawrence | 09 June, 2019, 14:26

It seems an expensive way to avoid the city traffic.

Uber Copter will go head-to-head against Blade Urban Air Mobility, which launched a Manhattan-to-JFK service in March for $195.

Uber hasn't freely declared the service itself, however as indicated by the article flights will have space for up to five travelers (don't hope to bring along much things) with two pilots, all worked by the Heliflite charter service.

The trip between Kennedy Airport and Lower Manhattan has been one of the most trafficked routes in the country, linking New York City's major worldwide airport and the heart of its financial district. Rides can be booked using the Uber app, but as this is a helicopter and not a auto, customers will have to settle for a predetermined route: an eight-minute journey between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport.

Flying taxis may not be off the ground yet, but that doesn't mean Uber hasn't figured out a way to make flying out of NY that much easier. This confirms the move beyond road transportation with its "aerial ridesharing" efforts coordinated through its Uber Elevate team.

The New York service will be offered to members of Uber's loyalty programs.

Allison says Uber Copter will help "lay the foundation" for other Uber Air vehicles, like the eVOTLs.

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But there are rival proposals in the mix, including a wider US-led approach that could affect European and Asian multinationals in other sectors than technology.

"Our plan is to eventually roll out Uber Copter to more Uber customers and to other cities, but we want to do it right", said Allison.

It has been working with partners to develop "flying cars" or small, electric aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability.

If you've been waiting on flying cars, Uber Copter is about to become a reality.

Shares of Uber were up 0.6% Thursday morning, at $45.32.

Uber said it lost $1 billion in the first three months of 2019 on revenue of $3.1 billion. One-way flights will cost $195 Dollars per person.

Uber estimates that an all-electric, 200mph (320kph) ride across the skies of Los Angeles will be price-competitive with an UberX trip of the same distance. The same trip can take between one hour and two hours by auto or between 50 and 75 minutes by train.