Uber has entered the aviation industry but not through air-planes, it’s via Hot-Air Balloon. You can now book a hot-air balloon in just $159. While the customers were hoping for ‘flying cars/cabs’ Uber launched one of the most unusual alternative to road transport.
Uber has launched their exquisite service in picturesque location of Cappadocia, Turkey. Potential customer has to book one balloon at least 12 hours before through their ‘Uber Reserve Feature’. The consumer gets a 90 minute sunrise/sunset fly over the beautiful scenery of Cappadocia.
Why Cappadocia and not any other place?
Turkey’s most popular location Cappadocia pulls a lot of tourists over one financial year. According to data, it’s one of the most demanded places after New York. The region accounted for roughly 10% of Turkey’s 44.6 million foreign visitors in 2022, per the Turkish tourism and culture ministry. And Uber said in its statement that international trips to Turkey increased by more than 30% in 2023, and almost 26 million people accessed the app this year. A 2022 report by local booking platform Upballoon said that over 150 hot air balloon launches occur daily in Cappadocia. Adding this facility boosts the Turkish tourism even more.
Turkey has proved to be the one of the fastest growing markets for Uber, the app trips have risen by more than 50% as compared to the previous year. The company has more than 30,000 active taxi drivers in nine Turkish cities, with the most in Istanbul.
Source: Uber Technologies
Uber’s rapid expansion
The new feature in Uber is a potential pivot toward areas beyond hailing. Back in 2019, Dara Khosrowshashi, CEO of Uber, said he wants his company to become the “operating system for your everyday life.” Hot-Air balloon aren’t the only unique service provided by Uber. The app already allows users to book Uber Boat rides along the Thames River in London or Mykonos in Greece, tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka and India, and helicopter rides in New York. The company also rolled out the ability to book flights for users in the UK in May. Along side this, the company was also in talks to start a helicopter ride service in Mumbai to enjoy the views during sunset and sunrise. Uber reported second-quarter revenues of $9.2 Billion in 2023, a 14% increase from the same period last year. This also marked the first time that Uber reported quarterly profits. Despite this, the company’s stock value remains below its peak in 2021.