- Ride-hailing company Grab trialled a helicopter taxi service – branded GrabHeli – in Jakarta last weekend.
- A Grab Indonesia representative told AFP that the company was currently conducting a feasibility study and exploring if GrabHeli could be launched on a commercial basis in Jakarta in the future. The service would primarily be aimed at business executives in need of a quick trip across the notoriously gridlocked city.
Why it matters:
- Singapore-based Grab – which also operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam – is locked in fierce competition across Southeast Asia with Indonesian player Go-Jek and US company Uber.
- Uber already trialled its helicopter service, UberChopper, in Jakarta back in 2015, but is yet to roll it out commercially in the city.
- It is debatable that a helicopter hailing scheme would be widely used or even approach profitability in Jakarta. However, the marketing and branding impact of launching the first such commercial service in the city could be significant for Grab in its ongoing rivalry with Go-Jek, Uber, and other e-hailing providers.
Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP).
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