Chopper charters in the UAE are soaring high above most other markets, the boss of a global transportation network company has said.
American firm Uber – inventors of a mobile app that uses your smartphone’s GPS to detect your location and connects you with the nearest available Uber driver – says the launch of its helicopter service in the UAE has been “one of their most successful globally”.
UberCHOPPER coordinates with independent operators and provides smooth scheduling and billing, as well as connecting car services, making it possible for uses to summon a helicopter to the nearest helipad. The app-based service made its debut during the Formula One this year.
Jambu Palaniappan, regional general manager Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, said: “It’s the response was super positive. Every trip that we offered[to the F1 was occupied. We’ve done this in a few cities, the UAE is by far one of our most successful.”
In fact, the success of the service has led Uber to extend its offering. Calling the UAE a “good chopper market”, Palaniappan said: “We are now running UberCHOPPER for a few more months. It’s a great demand generator for licensed companies that have helicopters.”
Flights will be available from 10am to 4.20pm and will cost Dhs650 per person or Dhs3,180 for a group of six. The exec added that the region “is becoming a really strategically important market” for Uber.
He said: “A couple of weeks ago we made a commitment to invest $250 million in the Middle East and North Africa. We see a tremendous amount of growth potential in the region – that’s particularly true in the UAE, but also in places like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon. We’ll also be launching in Pakistan soon.”