Uber brings helicopter rental service to Shanghai and Hangzhou
Top taxi-hailing app company Uber will start helicopter rental services in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou, expanding a service that began in the US last year.
The company said on its Weibo account that from April 25, registered users of its app will be able to book a 30-minute flight within Shanghai on an EC135 helicopter. A chauffeur-driven Mercedes will pick up passengers and take them on to their destination after the flight.
The trip will cost 2,999 yuan (US$484) per person. The helicopter, which is worth 60 million yuan, is provided by Shanghai-based Kaijet Aviation.
“No need to get stuck for an hour moving only one kilometre downtown, or to face endless red traffic lights every two minutes. You could fly in a super helicopter and get a bird’s-eye view of beautiful Shanghai,” the Weibo post said.
The company said trips will cost 2,999 yuan (US$484) per person. Photo: SCMP Pictures
Local media in Shanghai said the helicopter rental service is likely to attract tourists or couples dating or planning weddings, since it will pass many of the city’s landmarks including the Shanghai Expo Park, Century Park and the Huangpu river.
Separately, local media reported that Uber is set to start the helicopter service in Hangzhou in May, flying a single 20-minute route to and from a hotel in the city and taking in the main tourist attractions of the West Lake and the Qiantang river.
The flight will cost a few thousand yuan person and will use a four to six seat helicopter, the local Jinri Zaobao newspaper reported.
Uber first started its helicopter rental service last July when it partnered with Blade, an app providing helicopter rides to the Hamptons and Montauk from New York.
The service has expanded to Los Angeles, Melbourne in Australia, and Cape Town in South Africa.
While tight military control of Chinese airspace has hampered the popularity of private jets among the country’s elite, plans to “open” low-altitude airspace of under 1,000 metres has led to a flurry of interest in helicopter ownership.
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 April, 2015, 12:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 April, 2015, 12:43pm