Voom launches in San Francisco


Even companies can seem to become homesick. This was evident last week when on-demand helicopter-booking platform Voom brought its service to San Francisco – where the company was first established.

Instead of launching in its own hometown upon its inception, Voom decided upon São Paulo as its inaugural market for the helicopter booking platform. This was due primarily to the Brazilian megalopolis’s unparalleled helicopter landing infrastructure and its severe traffic congestion. This was a similar story for Mexico City, Voom’s second market.

Voom is now offering flights to and from five airports in the San Francisco bay area – Napa, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Jose. To start with, Voom will begin by offering seats on four helicopters flying to and from each airport rather than in and out of cities.

“When we look for a city, we first ask, ‘is there a problem we can solve?’ This is the reason we created Voom, to combat congestion by taking travel to the air. With almost half a million cars entering San Francisco every day, it has a problem and we have a solution,” Voom CEO Clément Monnet told Helicopter Investor.

Individual peak-time commuters across San Francisco lost 116 work hours on average in congestion last year, making it the third most congested city in the US according to the Inrix Global Traffic Scorecard. Voom will allow customers to book seats on helicopter flights up to an hour before take-off.

Rather than own or operate its own helicopters, Voom offers seats on scheduled flights operated by local partners. The San Francisco partners include Coastal Helicopters and Air Resources. Voom also offers full-helicopter charters to additional regional airports such as Half Moon, Monterey, Livermore and Sacramento.

“Voom is uniquely positioned to lead the transformation of air travel in the world’s mostcongested cities,” said Monnet. “We are excited to offer our service in the U.S. and to launch in the same location where Voom was born.

“Our service will make it easy and affordable for business travellers to travel quickly from locations such as the San Francisco airport to San Jose in only 20 minutes, rather than sitting in traffic for hours trying to get to a meeting.”

UAM Leaders

Voom is an Airbus company, having been launched back in 2016 through Airbus’s Silicon Valley initiative A3. Being an Airbus company, it is a core part of Airbus’s urban air mobility initiative that encapsulates Airbus’s eVTOL projects.

Monnet told Helicopter Investor: “There are four main verticals to Airbus’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) initiative: the B2C platform (including Voom), the new aircraft, Airbus’s UTM subsidiary, and infrastructure development. With this, Airbus has a holistic approach to UAM which helps position them at the forefront.

“It has already achieved this approach in the commercial aviation market and become an industry leader there. It has had 60 years’ experience in managing complex supply chains like this.”