Uber to Partner with Airbus for On-Demand Copter Rides
19 January 2016 - CNBC
Uber has found an unlikely partner for its on-demand services in Airbus, the company announced on Sunday, with the aerospace giant providing helicopters for a pilot project.
As part of a new Silicon Valley-based initiative, Airbus has established a partnership with Uber was part of an experiment that would allow Uber users to hail copters, as well as other forms of transportation.
The recently-formed Airbus Ventures will operate with $150 million commitment to "identify and invest in the most visionary entrepreneurs in the global aerospace ecosystem," Airbus said in a release.
The new link with Uber will allow Airbus to provide on-demand transportation service using its H125 and H130 helicopters. According to Airbus, the partnership will help carve out "a new business model for helicopter operators to access a broader customer base."
Neither Uber nor Airbus disclosed how much a helicopter ride share might cost—but given the method of transportation its likely to be a pretty penny. Airbus' first order of business will be at the Sundance Film Festival, where an Uber spokesperson told CNBC that Airbus helicopters will help make it easier for attendees to navigate the event.
The move may also help Airbus shore up a business segment that has lagged in recent years. The company's helicopter sales slumped in 2015, CEO Tom Enders has said previously.
The partnership was first reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier on Sunday. Enders told the publication that the team-up was "pretty exciting" for Airbus.