The American company specialized in providing mobility as a service, Uber, is planning to expand its services with the purpose of becoming a superapp and evolve towards a space of integral solutions for users, which is why it will add the possibility of booking flight tickets, train and bus travel from one place.
Urbe’s executive director, Dara Khosrowshahi, stressed that this idea had been in the works for some time. But it was postponed as a result of the global pandemic by Covid-19. Initial optimization of the app in the British market is planned.
To increase services, the company plans to manage and integrate its software with different airlines, intercity train and bus operators, including Eurostar Channel Tunnel boards, and car rental companies.
Jamie Heywood, regional general manager of Uber for the United Kingdom, explained that the “new service tries to provide a seamless experience from door to door”
Before the pandemic, 15% of Uber trips were made to airports. With this integration, the firms hope to increase flight reservations, as well as the issuance of tickets for higher-margin trips.
Uber in the search of markets in the United Kingdom
One of the most consolidated markets that Uber has outside the United States is the United Kingdom, which is why it was selected as a pilot for this new modality before definitively implementing it in the rest of the international markets.
The company estimates that with the incorporation of new means of transport, customers will encourage and increase the use of the firm and take advantage of “its extensive network of drivers to move between transit centers. This will also increase the amount of booking commissions.”
According to Heywood, “Uber has been able to book rides, bikes, boat services and scooters on the app for a number of years, so adding trains and coaches is a natural progression.”
Additionally, and by the end of the year, the firm plans to incorporate flights and later, in the future, hotels. “All of this by integrating leading partners to create a door-to-door travel experience,” said Heywood.
The firm’s general manager also admits that all the company’s plans are “a very important growth lever for us in the coming years.” However, it is still unclear to what extent Uber will compete with other online travel booking platforms.