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Uber Air to land in Melbourne, but unanswered questions remain

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Uber Air to land in Melbourne, but unanswered questions remain

Uber is spreading its wings, naming Melbourne as the third international city from which the ride-share company will launch Uber Air.

Melbourne joins Dallas and Los Angeles as pilot cities, with test flights starting as early as next year and commercial operations set to kick off from 2023.

The flight, from the airport to the CBD is expected to cost about $86, the same as a trip in a luxury Uber Black car.

More will be revealed this morning on the rooftop at Luminare in South Melbourne today.

But Uber has to overcome a few hurdles before launching, such as:

  • Choosing suitable aircraft;
  • Obtaining certification from safety authorities;
  • Obtaining approval for air routes.

Jodie Auster, General Manager of UberEats Australia and New Zealand, is confident the initiative will get off the ground.

“We’ve had really great preliminary conversations with governments and regulators in Australia … which gives us great confidence that we can move quickly,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Ms Auster said Melbourne had been chosen as a pilot city because of congestion levels, and a progressive government approach to ride-sharing.

“If you look at Melbourne’s congestion levels they’re actually on par with a city like New York. This and the fact that the population is expected to get to more than 8 million people by 2050 made Melbourne a really viable test city for Uber Air,” she said.

“The Australian government has led the world in recognising the benefits of ride-sharing, and it’s this progressive approach that really makes Melbourne the perfect test ground.”

Ms Auster said eVTOL vehicles, electric vertical take off and landing vehicles, will be used for Uber Air flights.

She told Neil Mitchell the vertical take off and landing abilities of the vehicles means there are many landing sites available to them.

“Because these vehicles take off vertically, and land vertically, you can do it off the roof of existing buildings,” she said.

No eVTOL vehicles are currently in the skies.

CLick PLAY to hear what Jodie Auster had to say.

Click PLAY to listen to Ross and John’s thoughts on Uber Air.

Image: Uber

Neil Mitchell