Ride-hailing app Uber has signed a pact with AAI to build its cab service zone across their airports as it sees the aviation sector as one of the key growth drivers of its business, a senior company official said.
Uber India and South Asia President Prabhjeet Singh told PTI that it has recorded nearly 100 per cent year-on-year growth in Airport trips in January and February this year and one in every 10 trips on the Uber platform is an airport trip.
"We have signed an MOU with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to provide Uber's service at multiple AAI airports. This is something which we believe is to truly participate in one of the fastest-growing segments of the Indian economy, which is the aviation sector. We see that we are an incredibly critical part of that growth," Singh said.
Uber Zone enables the company to provide dedicated pickup and drop points, deploy technology to help the user navigate to Uber Zones and provide parking at ease to driver partners etc.
He said trips to the airports typically tend to be higher value trips because many airports are located further away from city centres.
"Almost 17 per cent of the total revenue we make in the country actually comes from trips to and fro from airports, which just shows how significantly important this segment is for us.
"This percentage is only increasing given how fast the aviation sector is growing. Just within the first three months of 2023 more than 30 lakh riders have used Uber to get to the airports this year," Singh said.
The Softbank-backed company has operations across more than 120 cities and AAI manages around 137 airports across the country. The company has several overlapping cities which have AAI-managed airports where Uber operates.
Uber zones within airport premises
Singh said that the company already provides ride service to all airports but the agreement enabled it to build Uber Zones within airport premises.
The company at present has a partnership with 12 airports -- managed by private companies and the government.
"We will be able to extend operations across the majority of AAI airports in a gradual phased manner over the next few months and quarters," Singh said.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) includes all AAI-managed Airports, but Singh said operations across all of them will happen in a phased manner.
He said that the company is in active dialogues for city-by-city plans with AAI, as they have visibility on airport traffic projections and they also have visibility on where there is capacity expansion happening.
"We are doing a network mapping with them jointly to identify which locations should we prioritise. This MOU in some form will accelerate contracting out of the services, and availability of pickup locations deployment. We are on standby. We are ready to deploy a solution which can be deployed in a matter of days, for example, the pickup location, the technology, the teams on the ground to manage the operations," Singh said.