A week after releasing teasers for GrabHeli, Malaysia-based ride-hailing app GrabTaxi launches a weekends-only helicopter service in Manila
A week after massive traffic jams in Metro Manila because of the APEC summit, ride-hailing app GrabTaxi announced today a weekends-only on-demand helicopter service, a precursor to an air taxi service in the future.
Trisha Katipunan, Communications Senior Executive, GrabTaxi Philippines, told e27 in an email that the GrabHeli service — done in partnership with PhilJets — is the first in the markets that GrabTaxi operates in.
Aside from the Philippines, GrabTaxi is available in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
GrabTaxi released teasers for GrabHeli last week, but did not volunteer further details. Uber also had an UberCHOPPER promo last weekend, but made clear that the promotion, which gave selected Uber users free helicopter rides, was not meant to introduce a new service.
GrabHeli, which costs PHP3,888 (US$82.53) per person for a 15-minute ride, is being sold as a luxury experience for now, shared Katipunan. She also said the service will be “later on developed as an Air Taxi, which passengers can book for an alternative travel experience around the metro — with limitations of pick-up and drop-off points, of course”.
For now, the helicopter rides will take off and land at the PhilJets facility in Pasay City, one of the component cities of Metro Manila.
The launch of the helicopter service coincided with GrabTaxi’s launch of GrabPay, the company’s own credit card payment solution.
“We are currently in beta testing so there’s no need to worry if you don’t see the option on your Grab app. As we gradually roll out towards the end of the month, more and more passengers will be able to experience a more seamless and efficient GrabCar experience,” GrabTaxi said on its website.
The service accepts VISA and MasterCard credit card as well as debit cards from select banks. The company said GrabPay will automatically include discounts from promos and that there will be no hidden fees when using the service.
“Note that GrabHeli payments are done through the GrabPay option only,” stated Katipunan.
Also Read: Uber to launch official company in Indonesia
Uber recently announced that it would begin accepting cash payments from users in Manila, something that GrabTaxi — and GrabCar — has been doing since it began operating in the Philippines.
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