Uber has long been thought of and used as a taxi service, but the company has always been keen on expanding their operations to something bigger. While exploring new avenues of growth in recent years, Uber has ventured into the air travel industry. The company is planning to allow users based in the UK to book flights through its app by the summer. This move marks Uber’s venture into the air travel industry. They might soon expand the service to other countries around the globe if it turns out profitable in the United Kingdom.
The integration of flight bookings into the Uber app has been made possible through a partnership with the online travel firm Hopper. The app will let British users book both domestic and international flights. A small portion of the profit will be given to Hopper to facilitate the bookings as part of their deal. The integration will allow Uber users to book flights from a wide range of airlines. With these features coming out soon in the UK, users will be able to plan their journey completely using the Uber app. An Uber car will pick them from their doorstep and they will then fly in a flight they booked using the Uber app before taking another Uber from the airport to their destination. It is more than possible that the company might announce packages including all this in the future.
The Travel Industry and Uber:
In the years following the pandemic, the travel industry has seen an unprecedented growth. The United Kingdom too is an increasingly popular travel destination for tourists and other enthusiasts around the world. With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic fading away from most places, there has been an upswing in international travel. By introducing this new feature on the Uber app which facilitates flight bookings, Uber is looking to tap into this growth opportunity.
As per reports, the company might as well add features to offer users information on travel destinations. Such information is expected to include things to do, places to eat, and local events. It is expected that this would be an upgrade to the app’s ‘Explore’ feature which provides recommendations based on a user’s location and preferences.
The upcoming addition of the flight booking feature in the app is expected to provide users with a complete travel experience. With plans right from booking flights to finding out about local events and activities at their destination, this feature is expected to not only increase the Uber customer base but also make it more loyal for the company.
Although this foray into the air travel industry might prove to be very beneficial for the company, there are dangers involved that Uber will have to deal with. Like any other industry, the air travel industry has got firms which already dominate the market. Therefore, Uber is likely to face stiff competition in the travel industry, which is already dominated by established players such as Expedia and Booking.com. It is possible for Uber to distinguish themselves from the others by introducing a more unique experience but it remains to be seen if Uber is able to do so. Another positive for Uber will be its already established taxi service which might appeal to some clients who would like to use the services of the same company for the entire trip.
Statements from Uber:
Andrew Brem, a general manager at Uber UK has said: “Our new functionality will make the booking and managing of air travel simple and stress-free, with the booking process taking as little as one minute.”