Uber swimming business returned to pre-epidemic levels in the UK in mid-May as relaxation Blocking restrictions forced users to get back on track faster than the company expected.
Extensive geographic coverage beyond major London cities and the introduction of new modes of transport, including traditional taxis, contributed to Uber’s sharp return to the UK and parts of Europe last month.
During the week of May 17 in Europe, Uber total gross bookings were restored to more than 80% of the level reported in the same period in 2019.
These figures are a significant recovery after the company reported 38% year-on-year decline in the world in the first three months of 2021.
“We honestly did not anticipate the speed of recovery we have seen in some of the potential geographies, including, of course, the United Kingdom,” said Annabel Diaz Calderon, Uber’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Director.
There are so many blocks in the UK during the week Hospitality restrictions eased, gross bookings matched or slightly exceeded bookings made two years ago in the equivalent week.
Spain and Germany also saw gross bookings. Customer spending on various Uber transportation services, adjusted for any discount or promotion, returns to the level of about 100 percent in the third week of May, compared to the same period in 2019, even as much. Coronavirus restrictions were still in effect.
Other key markets are returning more slowly. In France, gross bookings amounted to about 70% of the pre-epidemic level of the week of May 24, after the removal of various restrictions.
One of Uber’s largest city markets, London, lags slightly behind the rest of the UK as many office workers and tourists remain at home.
But in other UK cities, such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, the recovery is so strong that passenger demand is already starting to outstrip the supply of Uber drivers that are now is classified as a worker Not the contractors after the February Supreme Court ruling.
“We anticipate that we will need up to 20,000 additional engines for the growth we need in the UK,” said Diaz Calderon. Uber had to in the US boost incentives to tempt drivers in the face of a greater shortage of manpower in lower paid roles.
Although he acknowledged that there was “a slight overcrowding” after the lifting of the blockade, Diaz Calderon said he “has no fear that the pattern of growth we are beginning to see is sound.”
The return has reached pre-epidemic levels even before the wider resumption of business travel and tourism, which will bring with it destinations such as airport runs, which have traditionally been a major part of Uber’s business.
Across Europe, Uber has expanded its mobile mobility services to 40 small towns in recent months, making it now available in more than 340 cities across the continent.
The entry of some of these new cities, particularly Spain, Austria, and Turkey, is possible only because Uber has worked with the traditional taxi industry, a group that is often seen as a competitor or adversary to its equestrian division model. Uber says it has registered 17,000 drivers across Europe since the start of 2021, whose cars can now be booked through its app as well as being welcomed on the street.
“Partnering with taxis is a powerful lever for business in many geographies; in fact, it allows us to grow or open many regions,” said Diaz Calderon.