Uber could be launching helicopter services in Nairobi. And what better way than to offer Kenyans a chance to view their country from the skies than through a social media campaign.
Come Sunday fourth, twelve Kenyans will be able to experience either the Rift Valley, or the coastline, from the air, courtesy of Uber Kenya and Corporate Helicopters. They will be accompanied by celebrities from Nairobi and the Coastal city of Mombasa.
The Kenyan one is a campaign, but it could also signify the launch of the service in Kenya. If launched, Nairobi would be the second city, after Cape Town, where the company has offered chopper services in the continent.
These initial flights will be twenty minutes long.
This is interesting, considering that there isn’t even UberBlack services in the city yet. Some could do with the service as, “sometimes you’d want to go to the club or the airport in a nice way” if I may use the words of one speaker at a recent tech event organised by metta Nairobi.
Uber has offered UberChopper services in other cities including Dubai, Cannes, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Shanghai and Cape Town but they have all been centred around major events like CES in Las Vegas, the Coachella music festival and Cannes Film Festival.
Uber’s Cannes Service included a car ride to the heliport, a copter ride and limo service after landing to the festival.
Sao Paulo, where aircraft can carry between two and four passengers with prices ranging from $17 to $80 per seat is the only city where the company offers regular copter services as opposed to the others that are limited to specific events.
Uber could be targeting the general elections season are elections in the country are usually a lucrative time for helicopter service companies in Kenya.
There has been an increase in helicopter imports into the country recently, attributed to their tax exempt status.
It could also be a marketing move to push awareness further especially in light of recent events. Uber recently reduced their rates in the face of fierce competition from other ride-share companies like Little and Taxify. However, Uber users say that the Uber surge feature is now more frequent with some saying that that was the compromise that the company made to accommodate its driver partners who demonstrated after the company slashed rates.
Surge, a feature that the company refers to as dynamic pricing is when prices increase when there is more demand and fewer drivers on the roads. Uber says this encourages more drivers to turn on their apps.
Image: Uber, an image from the company’s Cannes partnership with Helipass.