Airport Rideshares Take to the Skies

On-demand helicopter rides becoming a reality.
Owned by Airbus, Voom is planning to launch helicopter service in the U.S. in the fall, but for now, the company said it is refining its service by testing with friends and family.

When airport traffic backs ups, attendees can now take to the skies with airport rideshares. Helicopter service from a variety of airports is on the rise, with several companies offering limited service in major cities around the world.

Voom, which touts itself as the world’s first on-demand helicopter booking platform, Uber Copter, Blade and startup Skyryse are all vying for similar business in different markets.

Owned by Airbus, Voom is planning to launch helicopter service in the U.S. in the fall, but for now, the company said it is refining its service by testing with friends and family.

According to a Helicopter Investor report, flights will reportedly include service in the San Francisco Bay Area between five regional airports, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Palo, Alto, and Hayward, with trips ranging from seven to 14 minutes.

Voom notes that the company does not own or operate any helicopters, helipads, and is not an “airfield” service provider. Instead, its service connects users with licensed air taxi companies. Attendees can book a trip in 60 minutes or as far in advance as a week.

The company launched service in 2017 in the congested city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, replacing one- to two-hour drives to or from the airport with 15-minute flights for about $150. In 2018, it expanded to Mexico City, with 15-minute airport shuttles costing about $180.

Meanwhile, Uber is starting this month Uber Copter service with helicopter rides between JFK airport in New York and Lower Manhattan, which can be booked on demand through its app. Uber Copter flights will cost $200 to $225, based on demand pricing. Uber projects that Uber Copter will bring total transport times between NYC and JFK down to as little as half an hour.

Uber has secured terminal space at several major airports across the U.S., working a partnership with a company called Signature Flight Support that handles arrivals and departures of private jet and helicopters, as well as services them.

The company Blade, which operates helicopters in multiple cities for the U.S. market, also offers airport shuttles in the New York City area, including basic flights to the city and pricier flights to further locations like the Hamptons.

Looking to the future, Uber is planning to launch a flying taxi service in 2023 in the U.S. and overseas in Melbourne, Australia. According to a report in Forbes, Uber is aiming to start with multiple locations in Dallas and Los Angeles, two of which will be at airports.

 

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