Uber, known for transforming the global taxi industry, is now setting its sights on revolutionizing holiday travel by expanding the services available on its app. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi discussed his vision to make Uber a go-to travel platform as the company reported its first-ever global operating profit.
During the April-June period, a record number of Uber trips were taken, with approximately 25 million trips made on the platform per day on average, totaling nearly 2.3 billion rides during the quarter. This surge in travel came as North America began to recover from the pandemic.
Mr. Khosrowshahi sees this travel recovery as an opportunity for Uber to become a major player in the travel industry, particularly in the UK, where travel agencies still hold a significant role compared to other markets. Uber introduced flight bookings via its app in the UK in May, and it already enables train and coach bookings in the country.
The company is now eyeing the tour operator market, aiming to compete with traditional tour operators and offer a comprehensive travel experience through its platform. So far, the expansion into travel offerings has not negatively impacted demand for its core taxi service.
Mr. Khosrowshahi’s leadership has been instrumental in steering Uber toward profitability. The underlying ride-hailing, food delivery, and freight businesses posted a profit of $326 million in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $713 million in the previous year. Revenue grew 14% year-on-year to $9.2 billion, with strong revenue growth outside the US and Canada.
Uber’s resilience and growth in its taxi and food delivery businesses demonstrate its ability to adapt and thrive amid challenging circumstances. As the travel industry continues to rebound, the company’s vision of becoming a go-to travel platform is taking shape, with potential implications for the broader holiday travel landscape.
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