Uber is expanding its transportation services, launching helicopter rides in New York City starting in July.
Customers will be able to book on-demand rides in a helicopter from JFK Airport to Lower Manhattan, The New York Times reported, and the eight-minute trip will cost $200 to $225. The ridesharing firm thinks that with Uber Copter it can cut down the time it takes to get from JFK to NYC to as little as 30 minutes. Taking the Long Island Railroad to get to JFK Airport from NYC typically takes an hour or longer.
The Uber Copter service will be available to Platinum and Dimond Uber rewards customers. The report noted the helicopters can transport five people but luggage is limited to a small bag and a carry-on of less than 40 pounds.
Helicopter transport isn't the only move the newly-public Uber is making to grow its customer base and expand its offerings. Earlier this week it confirmed it's merging a fully functional web version of Uber Eats into its ride-hailing app. For Uber, merging Uber Eats with its ride-hailing app will give it an advantage over Lyft or DoorDash, since they don’t have both services. It will also enable it to stay in line with Careem, Bolt, and Didi, all of which offer both ride-hailing and food delivery services. Uber customers will be able to test out Uber Eats without having to download another app. On the flip side, 50 percent of Uber Eats customers who don’t use its ride-hailing service may try using Uber.
Growing and expanding its customer base is crucial for Uber's stock. Under more scrutiny since its initial public offering (IPO), Uber has already posted results that showed a slowdown in growth. Despite a net loss of $1.01 billion in the March ending quarter, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company was optimistic about the ridesharing market and the competition within it.