GrabHeli offers solution to Metro traffic

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TRANSPORT service provider GrabTaxi is taking its business to a higher level, quite literally, as it launched on Tuesday a new transport option that could yet beat the hellish traffic in Metro Manila.

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Introducing GrabHeli—a helipad-to-helipad chopper transport services now offered by GrabTaxi, in partnership with another start-up firm, aviation services PhilJets.

The web-supported transport service is initially available at the metropolis’ south—Makati, Bonifacio Global City, and Pasay, for a fare of P3,888 per person.

“[The] target market is same as GrabCar, same people who are tired from the traffic,” said Khriztina Lim, country head of marketing of GrabTaxi Philippines.

Company officials said GrabHeli is in its beta stage and would be tested for three months.
In software development, a beta test is the second phase of software testing, with a sampling of the intended audience trying the product out. Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet.

“We are very happy to partner with GrabTaxi Philippines,” said Thierry Tea, CEO of PhilJets Group, which offers helicopter flight packages to Philippine tourist spots like Mt. Pinatubo, Corregidor, Taal Volcano, Banaue Rice Terraces, and Punta Fuego in Batangas.

“In the two years they’ve been in the country, they’ve proven that they’re a formidable company to be associated with, and this partnership promises a ride to remember.”

GrabHeli, currently a pre-booking helicopter service, charges a P3,888-per-head helicopter fare.

For Php 3,888 per person, anyone registered with GrabPay, GrabTaxi’s credit card payment option, can fly around Manila in an aerial tour of Makati, BGC and Pasay, the two alternative transport firms’ officials said.

“Booking a helicopter ride used to cost tens of thousands of pesos. But through our partnership with PhilJets, we’ve made it possible to just buy a minimum of one seat on a helicopter and you’re good to go,” said Lim. “With GrabHeli, riding a helicopter will not be as far-fetched as it used to be. It is now luxury within reach.”

Pre-booking a GrabHeli will be available weekly from Saturdays to Wednesdays through the GrabTaxi mobile app, with fixed flight schedules during Fridays and Saturdays at 4 p.m.

On Tuesday, GrabTaxi also rolled out its newest payment option that allows passengers to pay via credit card, GrabPay.

“The Philippines has always been primarily a cash country,” observed Lim. “That’s why we invested our efforts in making GrabCar available to most Filipinos. Now that we’ve established the brand, we want to be able to reach out to the credit card users and make the app accessible to virtually anyone with a smartphone.”

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