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Airbus, Uber team up for on-demand helicopter rides

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Didi Kuaidi, the ride-hailing service slugging it out in China with Uber Technologies, is partnering with China Merchants Bank Co to provide automobile financing and help its 14 million drivers with car payments.

[PARIS] European aircraft maker Airbus has said it is teaming up with global ridesharing service Uber to test plans for offering an on-demand helicopter service.

Airbus's new Silicon Valley-based innovation centre "is collaborating with terrestrial mobility provider Uber on a market pilot to provide an on-demand transportation service", it said in a statement on Sunday.

It would offer on-demand rides on Airbus' H125 and H130 helicopters, it said, without giving an indication of their likely price.

Its goal would be "proving out a new business model for helicopter operators to access a broader customer base", it added.

Uber has expanded to hundreds of cities around the world in at least 68 countries, allowing people to use smartphone applications to summon and pay for rides provided by drivers using their own cars.