Introducing Voom: Boost Your Commute and Your Life

Imagine soaring over rush-hour traffic on your way to work. This would be a dream come true for anyone who has endured a regular commute in the world’s largest cities. It’s no secret that rush-hour traffic can be insufferable. And unfortunately, given the forecasted rise in urban population worldwide, the problem is only expected to get worse. Traffic and congestion cost local economies billions of dollars each year. Aside from the financial impact, we know that traffic has a real, and negative, impact on commuters’ health. A 2012 study from Washington University in Saint Louis shows that longer commutes are associated with chronic stress, high blood pressure, and weight gain.

Voom is looking skyward with a radical concept to remedy urban congestion and its detrimental consequences today. Our mobile booking platform makes commuters’ dreams come true … fly over traffic jams with the tap of a button. Voom, a strategic initiative of A3, the Silicon Valley outpost of Airbus, is elevating travelers’ daily lives by uplifting their daily commutes. We’ve built one of the world’s first truly on-demand helicopter booking platforms that provides travelers the ultimate in convenience and reliability, yet does so in the most affordable and accessible way available today. Our riders can book and take off in as little 60 minutes.

Today, we are excited to announce that Voom has launched in beta. Voom is currently available in São Paulo, Brazil and will be expanding to other cities worldwide in the coming months. São Paulo was a logical first market as it is a city plagued by congestion; traffic back-ups often stretch for more than 130 miles / 210 km. With over 400 helipads in the metropolitan area, 700 helicopters, and a dedicated helicopter air traffic control system, São Paulo is one of the best cities for helicopter transportation.

We have already demonstrated that the market for on-demand air travel is real and addressable. During a short pilot in São Paulo in the summer of 2016, in partnership with Uber, Voom received thousands of bookings in 30 days. Voom has developed the technology to bring helicopter travel into the mobile age, focusing on improving helicopter capacity utilization, flexible scheduling and ensuring a delightful rider experience.

Voom, in partnership with Airbus, is the ideal company to undertake the challenge of this component of Urban Air Mobility (UAM). We have the know-how and resources to bring a viable helicopter booking solution to market today. Voom has exclusive access to approximately 80 percent of the helicopter operators (all of which are accredited RBAC 135 air taxi companies) in São Paulo. In addition, Voom has developed a proprietary “pooling” technology that allows us to provide the most affordable helicopter service in São Paulo. Our riders can fly for up to 80 percent less than traditional helicopter services — about the cost of a private car service. As a result, Voom is democratizing helicopter travel in the world’s most congested cities, giving more and more people access to a mode of transportation that to date has been reserved for the ultra-wealthy.

Voom will be available between 8 am and 8 pm Monday through Friday between convenient locations in the São Paulo city center, including Campo de Marte and Faria Lima, as well as Congonhas and Guarulhos airports. Downtown São Paulo to Guarulhos is one of the most popular routes, which is no surprise as riders can get to the airport in 15 minutes — compared to a 3-hour journey in rush-hour traffic.

- Uma Subramanian