Urban Helicopter Transport

New ride-hail companies are being launched in New York City with the promise of 8-minute flights to nearby John F. Kennedy airport from downtown Manhattan. Uber intends to expand the service to more US cities and eventually — other brands to expand the marketplace — offering options to daily commuters who travel to and from neighboring suburbs.

The service is also competing with other helicopter booking services such as Blade, which offers flights to neighboring airports, as well as routes to the Hamptons, Atlantic City and Nantucket, via an app. (Blade and Uber partnered several years ago to let users of the ride-sharing app book chartered helicopter rides to Montauk, New York, for July 4th weekend.) Blade had reported a flat rate to JFK is $195 one way.

As Uber expands its fleet of cars to scooters, bikes and now helicopters, it wants to give users more options for getting from one place to another. It’s replacing helicopter trips with autonomous electric flying cars to make transportation faster and, in theory, safer. Under its new Uber Air division, it’s working on a class of flying electric vehicles that can take off and land vertically. The company is expected to launch its first set of electric aircraft in Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, in 2023.