afaqs! news bureau

Uber now offers 'zero-contact' rides at Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports

The cabs will be sanitised before each ride, the drivers and riders will always wear masks, only the drivers will touch doors and boot, while the riders will handle their own luggage.

Airport rides are one of the most profitable journeys for a cab company. But because airlines were grounded due to lockdown over the past two months, the lack of rides left a gaping hole in the coffers of cab-hailing apps, such as Uber.

On May 25, 2020, the government permitted domestic airlines to fly once again. It was a positive step, not only for the carriers, but for Uber as well. It means that the likes of Uber can now once gain drop and pick up people to and from the airport.

However, the risk and anxiety around the Coronavirus hasn't waned. To ensure its riders that all safety measures are in place, Uber has announced the setting up of sanitisation hubs for its cabs at three airports: Delhi (DEL), Bengaluru (BLR), and Hyderabad (HYD) as part of its 'zero-contact' rides offering at airports.

The hub is placed at the Uber pickup zone of the BLR and HYD airports, and DEL airport’s multi-level car parking (MLCP) of Terminal 3, which is its only functional terminal.

At these hubs, the cars are disinfected before every trip using state-of-the-art equipment and disinfectants. Uber also mandates drivers and riders to wear masks at all times, only drivers to open car doors and boots, while drivers are expected to handle their own luggage.

Pavan Vaish, head of central operations, Uber India and South Asia, said, “As cities begin to reopen and people start moving again, Uber is committed to providing exemplary safety standards for its riders and drivers. During the past few months, we have constantly improved our safety procedures and product experience to prevent contamination risks, and to reinforce a deeply embedded bond of trust with riders and drivers.”

Commenting on the partnership, Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, Delhi International Airport Ltd, said, “It is our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of passengers travelling by air and during ground transfers. We have taken a slew of measures at the airport to make sure the processes are contact-free, and that the highest safety standards are maintained. It is extremely heartening to see last-mile cab aggregators ensuring the first and last legs of travel are safe, too.”

SGK Kishore, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), said, “Passenger safety has always been our top priority. We are happy to collaborate with all our transportation partners, including Uber, to ensure a safe travel experience between the airport and the city for all our passengers. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while India is cautiously opening up, we are taking all possible measures to ensure that we can offer a safe and healthy environment for all our passengers and airport community members.”

Uber says that it will scale up to other domestic airports in the coming days.