Airbus-funded helicopter booking platform Voom ceases operations

Airbus-funded helicopter booking platform Voom ceases operations 2 Apr, 20, Source: HeliHub.com

Launched in 2016 out of the Airbus innovation centre Acubed, Voom was created with the ambition to democratise access to the skies and transform how people move in urban environments. Over four years, it grew from a two-person project in Silicon Valley to 30+ employees, and operating in three of the most congested metropolitan areas in the world – São Paulo, Mexico City and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Voom website carries the headline “On March 23, 2020 we were forced to cease global operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), and today, March 30th we have made the tough call with Airbus leadership that Voom will not resume its operations. We are honored that our customers chose our service to move across congested cities around the world and hope that you will always remember the Voom flight experience”.

CEO Clement Monnet, in a subsequent post on Medium.com, reported that over the course of Voom’s operations, the company acquired nearly 150,000 active users and flew over 15,000 passengers. In their first year of operation, 60% of our customers were first-time helicopter users, which shows that this new technology opened the skies to a new audience. The company achieved a 45% repeat customer rate and an average ticket price equivalent to 2x the cost of a private car service for 1/10th of the time. If those numbers are achievable by other companies, nobody can dispute the economics.

There is no doubt that the helicopter booking platform will have provided Airbus with valuable behavioural and operational data about urban air mobility in today’s global markets. That would include customer preferences — booking and movement patterns, most popular routes, willingness to pay — as well as about operational challenges related to lack of infrastructure, public acceptance, on-demand versus scheduled routes, etc.

Data was also shared with Airbus to help inform the company’s decisions on the design of any future electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL), including the average number of passengers per flight and flight time, the optimum end-to-end customer experience and infrastructure-related costs.

HeliHub.com notes that the Voom app was only ever available on the Apple iOS operating system, and not on Android

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com

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