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Grab Indonesia May Soon Implement Helicopter Taxi Services in Jakarta

Jakarta. Online ride-hailing service Grab Indonesia may soon release a helicopter taxi service for customers, called GrabHeli, a spokesperson said at the company’s fifth anniversary celebration in Jakarta on Saturday (10/06).

“We always try to provide solutions for our customers,” Grab Indonesia’s marketing director Mediko Azwar told reporters. “We are exploring the possibility to launch the service commercially.”

However, the company has not specified when it plans to implement the new service on its digital platform.

Mediko said Grab is studying the business feasibility of providing helicopter taxi services in the capital and surrounding areas.

“If it’s feasible, then we will talk about the business model,” he said.

Mediko said Grab has learned that many high-level executives in Jakarta, aiming to avoid the city’s notoriously bad traffic, would be interested in the service.

“It’s simple [...] Grab’s role is the technology bridge that connects supply and demand, spurring productivity to reduce the cost,” said Ridzki Kramadibrata, Grab Indonesia’s managing director.

In a pilot program, GrabHeli offered 15-minute helicopter rides to as many as 64 of its most prized customers on Saturday and Sunday as part of its anniversary weekend.

“We want to express our gratitude to our users by giving them the opportunity to enjoy Jakarta’s skyline [...] while giving them the opportunity to be the first to try our pre-booked helicopter service, GrabHeli,” Ridzki said.

Grab’s new plans come after chartered flight company Whitesky Aviation announced the construction of a Rp 260 billion ($19.5 million) heliport near Soekarno Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten.

“This is a positive thing, meeting a demand from interested parties to travel to the airport via helicopter,” Ridzki said, citing Whitesky’s recent announcement.

“That is one of the reasons why we want to enter into this venture,” he said.

Nearly two years ago, California-based ride-sharing app Uber offered a similar service, called UberCHOPPER, in Jakarta in collaboration with PremiAir. That service, however, was not made available to the public on a long-term basis.

The Jakarta Globe