LABACE Convention News

On-demand Helicopter Service Lifts Off

 - August 15, 2018, 8:46 AM

In its first year of operations in São Paulo, Brazil, since starting in April 2017, on-demand helicopter booking service Voom has experienced dramatic growth. The number of trips arranged through the booking engine has grown at a month-on-month rate of 200 percent, while the number of users has grown at 220 percent.

Voom is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters and offers an Uber-style service for business and other travelers in the world’s most gridlocked cities, where time spent in traffic jams can cost the local economy billions annually. The booking platform takes a journey request and matches it to a helicopter seat within minutes. At the same time, the platform employs a pooling technology that provides seats for up to 80 percent less than the cost of traditional air-taxi services. This reduction in price has the effect of “democratizing” the urban air transport sector.

With Airbus Helicopters's support, Voom’s São Paulo operation provides access to around 80 percent of the local operators, all of whom have RBAC 135 accreditation from ANAC. The service uses an extensive range of landing sites throughout the city center and principal business areas and serves all of São Paulo’s airports. Currently, the service is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Voom, which is displaying at LABACE as part of the Helibras/Airbus Helicopters stand, also operates in Mexico City. Drawing on experience from its operations in two cities with major traffic congestion issues, Voom is building an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of urban air mobility in areas such as customer demographics, market needs, and operational requirements. The company intends to apply this knowledge to launch in other cities around the world from later this year.