Soft landing for Voom’s Subramanian


Uma Subramanian has stepped down as CEO of Voom.

After three years of heading up the helicopter charter booking platform, Ms Subramanian has left the company and handed over the reins to prior COO Clement Monnet.

The reasons for she gave for stepping down were “largely personal”. Officially, she left the Airbus-owned company on 31st October.

Her valedictory statement reads: “Before I go, I would like to express my genuine thanks to the Airbus and A³ leadership teams, which supported us in taking a kernel of an idea and building it into a real business. And most importantly, thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey — it has been an amazing ride!”

Voom is a proprietary helicopter charter booking platform — an on-demand platform that shows upcoming city-wide helicopter flights from a set of established and certified operators.

It is expected that the Voom service will open in two more cities this year.

Voom was established as part of Airbus’s Silicon Valley subsidiary A³. Ms Subramanian worked on incubating Voom and took the position of CEO in January 2017. Shortly after she took the position, Voom was officially merged into Airbus Helicopters.

Uma is now pursuing her own startup – Surya Aero Ventures.

Voom and VTOLs

When we spoke with Ms Subramanian at Revolution.Aero in October, she said that Airbus plans to incorporate VTOL flights on to Voom’s booking service when the technology is ready.

She told VTOL Investor: “VTOLs are coming, and we are building a system at Voom that supports VTOLs when they are ready. We are waiting for when its safe and certified.” When asked whether Airbus will be staying out of the VTOL operating space, she replied: “Not necessarily”.

Whilst other legacy aircraft OEMs – including Airbus Helicopters’s direct competitor Bell – have partnered with Uber to design VTOL air taxis for Uber Air service, Airbus is planning on flying its VTOLs in-house.

Right now, the VTOL air taxi service market has one name associated with it — Uber. It’s now looking as if Airbus will be up there, too, chasing business.