Uber takes to Brazilian skies with helicopter service

© Uber
Sao Paulo in Brazil is the first city in the world to have an Uber taxi service with helicopters. The new Ubercopter service will test for a month.

Ubercopter is a partnership with the European plane maker Airbus, says Fabio Sabba, Uber's communications director in Brazil.

The company uses three helicopter operators in Sao Paulo. Each aircraft can carry up to four passengers with prices ranging from $17 to $80 per seat.

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After calling for a helicopter, users will be redirected to an app where they can use their Uber credentials. Clients then get a text message with information about the location of the nearest helipad.

Ubercopter intends to transport people between airports, hotels and convention centers. The service is currently operating from five helipads and four hotels, according to Mr. Sabba.

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The Ubercopter is the only regular service of its kind provided by Uber, as it is not limited to specific events. The company has provided helicopter services for the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Sao Paulo is Brazil’s largest city and is notorious for its heavy traffic. The city is home to the world’s biggest helicopter fleet. In 2013, 420 helicopters were registered in Sao Paulo, ahead of New York City and Tokyo, according to the Brazilian Association of Helicopter Pilots.

Uber has already experimented with different forms of transport. Last year, the company started the UberBoat service, offering clients a short ferry rides. In Seattle, passengers got a chance to be driven in cars from the Mad Max movie due to Uber’s partnership with Warner Bros. Entertainment.