Airbus Closes Voom Per-seat Helicopter Charter Service

 - March 31, 2020, 9:45 AM
After temporarily ceasing operations on March 23, a week later Voom ceased operations.

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

Airbus-backed helicopter charter service Voom ceased operations on March 30. Confirming the decision in a blog post, Voom CEO Clément Monnet said Airbus decided not to resume services that had been suspended on March 23 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Voom launched its on-demand, per-seat booking service in 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil, and later expanded it to Mexico City and the San Francisco area. The company used a network of operators to provide the flights, which could be booked via an app or online up to an hour before departure.

According to Monnet, Voom has provided Airbus with extensive data about consumer preferences and behavior that will support the wider plans of its Silicon Valley-based A3 division to develop urban air mobility services using eVTOL aircraft. He also hailed what he said was the first mobile helicopter booking platform in a market that now includes competitors Uber Copter and Blade.

Nearly 150,000 people signed up for the Voom app and the service flew more than 15,000 passengers. In its first year of operation, 60 percent of customers were making their first flight in a helicopter. Monnet claimed that the service achieved a 45 percent repeat customer rate and that the average price for a ride was around double the cost of private car service but 10 times faster.