As it now celebrates ten years of service, Blacklane, a global chauffeur operation, is adapting from its traditional scheduled booking offer to take advantage of technology and business trends to debut a new chauffeur hailing option.
The company was born by two frequent travellers who identified a need for a single global professional chauffeur service that offered a smarter way to book and manage rides that were affordable, reliable, and efficient. From a two-man operation in Berlin it now has an international spread of over 400 people with satellite offices in Singapore, Los Angeles, Dubai, and Brisbane and a service offer in 50 countries.
This promises a private and sanitised door-to-door service whether airport transfers, hourly rides and intercity trips but until now has required an advanced reservation at least 30 minutes in advance. But, as ride hailing apps have shown, that 30 minutes can be cut and businesses have already taken advantage to meet their travel needs. Blacklane is now adapting and
“People need trusted local transportation now more than ever as cities reopen,” says Dr Jens Wohltorf, Blacklane’s CEO and co-founder. “Many companies have built ride-hailing platforms with little quality control and confusing costs. But Blacklane has built a global chauffeur-hailing service with clear, consistent rates and the highest quality standards."
Blacklane’s new on-demand rides maintain the same premium service promise, health and safety standards, fixed competitive fares, and sustainability it offers through its pre-booked trips, but with added flexibility of being able to source a vehicle immediately.
It made its debut in New York on 01-Mar-2021 and has already been introduced in Dubai and London (from 02-Mar-2021), Berlin (from 03-Mar-2021) and by Paris (from 04-Mar-2021). It will go live in eight US by next week (Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC).
By 26-Mar-2021 it is planned to be active in 21 cities, spreading to Austria (Vienna); further across Germany (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich); into Ireland (Dublin); Italy (Milan); Portugal (Lisbon); Switzerland (Zurich) and Singapore.
To deliver the new service Blacklane may be widening its portfolio of partners, but as with its scheduled rides it promises these will only be the “best local chauffeur companies”. The hailing service will continue to deploy its all-inclusive fares based only on distance with guests not paying any extra for higher demand, traffic or tolls. It also offers a hygiene promise of a clean and sanitised vehicle with guests being greeted by their chauffeur with a slight bow instead of a handshake while they maintain maximum distance, also providing hand sanitizer and masks for users.
In one of the markets where the hailing option went live this week, London, where Blacklane has operated since 2013, the platform recently acquired a majority stake in Havn, the all-electric chauffeur service founded in Sep-2019 and backed by InMotion, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital and mobility services arm.
The investment, completed in Nov-2020, will see Blacklane attempt to grow Havn’s service and offer more zero-emission rides in London, as well as adding the world’s first premium all-electric Jaguar I-PACE performance SUV to its global fleet for the first time. Havn provides an offer tailored to the preferences of the passenger with options such as playlist, temperature and chauffeur interaction all customisable within its app.
The ride hailing specialists may have increasingly encroached on the chauffeur sector, but using similar technology the industry is adapting its own activity with their added premium service promise.