Uber plans to launch the Uber Copter service, which will offer customers regular helicopter passenger flights in New York.
The first flight under the new project is scheduled for July 9, 2019. The customer service route will run from Lower Manhattan to JFK International Airport.
The average price for an 8-minute round-trip helicopter flight and private ground transportation will be between $200 and $225 per person. With the Uber Copter service, the average travel time from Manhattan to JFK during peak hours will be reduced from two hours to 30 minutes, including additional ground transportation. Currently, a car trip in this direction takes at least an hour, by metro or rail - from 50 to 75 minutes.
“This is a trip that many travelers take every day, and we see an opportunity to save them a huge amount of time,” commented Eric Allison, head of air travel at Uber Elevate.
The helicopter service is expected to be available to Uber users who have Platinum and Diamond status in the corporate loyalty program. Flights will operate from Monday to Friday, during peak hours in the afternoon.
“Our plan is to roll out the Uber Copter service to our customers in other cities, but we want to do it right. First, we need to understand what is behind the aircraft,” added Allison.
Uber air taxi will be designed for 5 passengers. Reservations will be possible upon request or up to 5 days before the flight. Like the regular Uber taxi, the helicopter will offer customers dynamic pricing that will largely depend on the demand for the service. Uber Copter flights will be operated by New York-based HeliFlite, which has twin-engine helicopters in its fleet.