The hydrofoil ‘flying water taxi’ SeaBubbles test with passengers has been approved by the authorities of Paris and will begin Monday.
September 16 at 4:15 Paris time Anders Bringdal, SeaBubbles Chief Executive Officer, will set off with Dominique Ritz, Director of the Seine Basin and Navigable Waterways of France for the launch of SeaBubbles trials on the famed river.
Throughout the week, from the 16th to 20th, SeaBubbles will be taking passengers “on a route from Issy-les-Moulineaux to Bercy, between 8am-10 am and 3pm-5pm” according to a statement from the Prefect of Paris. The route goes past many Paris landmarks including Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.
The times are set so that the sight of a flying water taxi won’t distract other boaters on the Seine during the busiest times! The maximum speed for the trials is 30kmh.
Long route to get SeaBubbles this far
The route for SeaBubbles to get to this point has been anything but ‘clear sailing’. The 6 passenger hydrofoil was first demonstrated in 2017 with plans to be a commercial service for the city of lights.
The venture ran into regulatory problems, with the Parisian and French authorities and altered its business plans to concentrate on other markets, signing their first customer in the US in February.
Things now seem to be patched up with Paris, perhaps due in part to the support and enthusiasm of Mayor Anne Hiralgo, who tookSeaBubbles to work in 2018!
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 25, 2018
Commercial launch in spring 2020?
If the tests go well, the Prefect statement said: “…a commercial exploitation of SeaBubbles could be considered in spring 2020”.
Congratulations to SeaBubbles founders M. Bringdal and Alain Thébault for persevering with their grand vision.
This advancement could also bode well for M. Thébault’s other project – FlyBus – a 32 seat hydrofoiling ferry announced to the world in April of 2019.