Hailing a car is so 2015. Thankfully, the new year brings with it new opportunities for excess, and the fine folks over at Uber are all too happy to oblige. The not-a-transportation company has teamed up with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to launch a new helicopter service, which makes its first appearance this week at the Sundance Film Festival.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders announced the deal yesterday in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, and described the limited initial launch as potentially the beginning of something larger.
“Its a pilot project, we’ll see where it goes—but it’s pretty exciting,” explained Enders.
Service starts this week, but for now is limited to Park City, Utah, where Sundance is held. According to the LA Times, Airbus is providing H125 and H130 helicopters to ferry people from the Salt Lake City Airport to Park City.
The partnership with Airbus suggests a serious attempt by Uber to get into the air-transport business, and is not to be confused with the gimmicky Uber Chopper service briefly launched in 2013, in which Uber ferried the rich via helicopter between Manhattan and the Hamptons. At the time, the company offered the flights for a fixed price of $3,000, but there is no word yet on pricing for the new partnership.
However, don't get too excited, as you won't be able to summon a helicopter to land on Crissy Field anytime soon. Once you have hailed a helicopter ride via the app, a car will first need to pick you up and drive you to a helipad. Which, if you ask us, kind of defeats the brazenly ostentatious purpose of the whole thing.