Washington DC: Though Uber Technologies Inc. has named Melbourne, Australia, as the first city outside the US to host Uber Air services, India will be an important market for its futuristic flying taxi service, a top company executive said.

“We are very interested in India in terms of potential for the Uber Air market in the long run," said Eric Allison, who heads Uber Elevate, the firm’s aerial taxi sharing summit.

“It’s certainly on top of the list of the next places we want to go to."

Uber said last year it will start piloting aerial taxis in Los Angeles and Dallas, while scouting for another city outside the US, with India’s Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru being potential candidates.

But Uber has chose Melbourne as its third market, with plans to commercially launch Uber Air by 2023 in all the three cities.

However, Allison admitted that Uber’s target to launch the service within four years is “ambitious". “India presents challenges with respect to the way we are actually able to operationalize Uber Air in the country and we had some discussions with the aviation authority and several of the state government representatives and it looks promising," the executive quoted above added.

The company believes that taking an air taxi will eventually become cheaper than driving a car.

“Our vision is that on a daily basis it’ll be more economically rational for you to fly than for you to drive," said Allison, speaking on the sidelines of the company’s two-day flying taxi summit, Uber Elevate Summit 2019.

The company is on track to starting tests on the flying taxis next year ahead of commercial deployment.

The reporter is in Washington DC at the invitation of Uber

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