Yandex.Taxi Wants to Invest in On-Demand Helicopter Service

Russian ride-hailing service Yandex.Taxi is considering adding helicopters to its fleet of vehicles in Moscow for an on-demand service, Vedomosti reported on Thursday.

Several companies offer air taxi services in the Russian capital, one of which offers hour-long helicopter rides for around $700.

Yandex.Taxi is in four-way discussions with Moscow City Hall, holding company Russian Helicopters and a St. Petersburg-based aviation firm to offer helicopter taxis, Kommersant reported, citing a source close to one of the partners.

Initial rides will be offered from the Moscow Ring Road, or MKAD, to Moscow region. The service is expected to expand and begin picking up passengers from the inner Moscow Garden Ring road.

The Russian tech giant confirmed the plans and told Kommersant it will sign a four-way cooperation agreement to “promote the concept of urban air mobility” in August. The head of a Russian Helicopters subsidiary also confirmed that talks are underway.

“A full-fledged air taxi included in the public transport system is expected to be created in Moscow as a result of this project,” Ilya Mikhalchenko, head of VR-Technologies, was quoted as saying.

Yandex.Taxi merged with U.S. ride-hailing giant Uber last year in a service called NewCo, accounting for roughly 35 million monthly trips and a monthly revenue of $131 million in Russia and neighboring countries.