Commercial

Voom Expands Helicopter Shuttle Service to North America

By Brian Garrett-Glaser | June 25, 2019
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Voom's area of operation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Voom's area of operation in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Voom)

Airbus subsidiary Voom has expanded to North America, launching its on-demand helicopter transport service in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Offering flights between five regional airports — San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Hayward — Voom enters the traditional helicopter urban mobility market in direct competition with Blade. Uber’s recently-announced helo shuttle service, Uber Copter, currently only operates in the greater New York City area; Blade is present there as well as Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

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Voom launched in 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, later expanding to Mexico City. CEO Clément Monnet confirmed to Fast Company plans to enter Asia this year, targeting 25 cities of operation by 2025 with two million passengers annually.

In the Bay Area, according to its website, Voom’s flights will range from about $150 to $300, with flight times from seven to 14 minutes. The service will be operated by La Verne, California-based Coastal Helicopters, which operates three Bell rotorcraft, one Sikorsky S-76 and two Eurocopter AS350s, according to its website.

Voom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Like Blade and Uber Copter, Voom plans to transition from traditional helicopters to eVTOL, or electric vertical take-off and landing, aircraft as the technology matures. Its parent company Airbus, also a major investor in Blade, is developing two eVTOL designs: City Airbus and Vahana.

 

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