German chauffeur service Blacklane targets Middle East

German driver service Blacklane will IPO in the next three years. (Reuters)
Updated 01 May 2019
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German chauffeur service Blacklane targets Middle East

  • Blacklane is expanding into 20 cities in the Middle East this year, including Cairo, and investing $10-$20 million in the expansion
  • Blacklane, which competes with the likes of British premium car service Addison Lee and UberBLACK, caters to business customers in 300 cities in 60 countries

DUBAI: German chauffeur service Blacklane is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in the next three years, its chief executive told Reuters, as it strives to build its position in the fast-growing premium taxi market.
Any flotation would follow those of larger ride-hailing rivals. US group Lyft listed last month with a valuation of $24.3 billion, while Uber is planning an IPO that values the company at $80.5-$91.5 billion.
“This would be a natural evolution of our business model and our traction to IPO in the next years to come. That’s pretty realistic,” Blacklane CEO Jens Wohltorf said in an interview on the sidelines of a tourism fair in Dubai. He declined to provide any details.
Blacklane, which competes with the likes of British premium car service Addison Lee and UberBLACK, the ride-hailing app’s luxury arm, caters to business customers in 300 cities in 60 countries.
Uber, by comparison, says it is available in more than 600 cities worldwide.
Blacklane is expanding into 20 cities in the Middle East this year, including Cairo, Wohltorf said.
It will invest $10-$20 million in the expansion, financed by the company and its shareholders, which include German premium carmaker Daimler AG and Abu Dhabi-based Al Fahim Group, he added.
Wohltorf said Blacklane’s core driver service was profitable, but that overall the company was not because it was expanding in areas such as airport express services.
“If we decide we don’t want to grow one hundred and twenty percent year over year anymore, but slower, we could immediately turn it around,” he said.
Blacklane currently does around half of its business in Europe, with about a third in the US and the rest in the Middle East and Asia.
The company was founded in Berlin in 2011.


Air France, Emirates maintain Cairo flights after British Air suspension

Updated 21 July 2019
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Air France, Emirates maintain Cairo flights after British Air suspension

  • British Airways, a unit of IAG, said it was suspending flights to Cairo for seven days “as a precaution”
  • Germany’s Lufthansa later said it had canceled its flights to Cairo from Munich and Frankfurt and would resume its connection

PARIS: Air France, Emirates and Etihad Airways are continuing to operate flights to Cairo after British Airways and Lufthansa suspended services to Egypt’s capital.
International Airlines Group’s British Airways suspended flights on Saturday for seven days “as a security precaution” as it reviews security at Cairo airport.
Germany’s Lufthansa later said it canceled services from Munich and Frankfurt to Cairo and would resume flights on Sunday.
“In liaison with the French authorities and the local authorities in Egypt, Air France has decided to maintain its service to Cairo,” a spokesman said in a statement sent to Reuters.
An Emirates spokeswoman said its flights were operating to schedule.
“We are closely assessing the situation and are in contact with the relevant aviation authorities with regards to our flight operations to Egypt,” the spokeswoman said.
The website for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad showed its services were also operating.
“Etihad Airways is monitoring the security situation in Cairo,” an airline spokesman said.