The glitterati at Sundance this week can Uber a chopper

This week, Sundance Film Festival-goers will be able to buzz in helicopters over the Utah mountains to get to the festival, thanks to an offering from Uber, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Uber is offering H125 and H130 helicopter rides from Salt Lake City Airport to a helicopter landing pad in Park City.

That’s about 15 minutes in the air, the Times says. It’s about 36 miles on the roads, which should take about 40 minutes on the road (according to my quick look at Google Maps).

The cost? $200 per person during the day and $300 at night, which includes Uber SUV service to and from helicopter pads.

That seems pricey per minute saved. But when Uber first started in San Francisco, it offered expensive town car rides across town. Its prices dropped substantially as more people signed up.

The pilot program is a partnership between Uber and Airbus, the European airplane manufacturer. Airbus CEO Tom Enders said, “We’ll see where it goes—but it’s pretty exciting.”

It isn’t the first time that the ride-hailing giant is offering transport in something other than cars.

In India, Uber is working with rickshaw drivers. In Turkey, a person can hail boat via the Uber app.

And it isn’t the first time Uber has dabbled in helicopters. During the summer of 2013, it tested UberChopper between Manhattan and the Hamptons. It also has offered chopper rides during special events, charging between several hundred to several thousands of dollars per ride.

The move comes while Airbus has struggled with helicopter sales, Bloomberg said.

It recently launched a new Silicon Valley $150 million venture arm called Airbus Ventures, as Fortune reported.

The fund’s first investment was Local Motors, a crowdsourcing auto and aerospace design firm based in Arizona.


Above: Outside Uber’s San Francisco headquarters. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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