Tech mobility start-up Ascent on Monday introduced its on-demand, ride-sharing helicopter flight service as an alternative answer to Metro Manila’s “grueling” traffic situation.
The flight service allows customers to air travel to various locations across the National Capital Region (NCR) and according to Ascent, its users can instantly purchase helicopter flights by the seat and by the route at their own time, directly from the platform.
“Apart from providing helicopter flights up to a tenth of a cost more affordable than regular charter flights, we aim to further contribute to the democratization of urban air mobility through offering seamless on-demand flights on our platform,” said Ascent CEO Lionel Sinai-Sinelnikoff in a statement.
The platform showed pickup points that include Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Makati City, Quezon City, Bonifacio Global City, Manila Bay, Cavite, Tagaytay, Nasugbu, Mandaluyong, Alabang, Subic Bay, San Narciso, Lipa City and the Clark International Airport.
It also noted that the flight service from NAIA going to SM City North EDSA in Quezon City – with an estimated time of 10 minutes – will cost P10,900 per seat, excluding VAT while a 10-minute ride from NAIA to The Peninsula Hotel Manila in Makati would cost P7,900 per seat.
The start-up company said that its users can book their on-demand flights and choose from a list of value-added services such as luggage transport, first and lasts mile ground transport, and fast track, among others, by logging on to the company’s digital platform.
“The startup expects various types of commuters to avail of its on-demand service, such as companies in need of cost-effective solutions to transport time-sensitive business travelers, their guests or partners, individuals seeking to regain control of their time towards, cutting more business deals, enjoying more moments with their family or leisure, and tourists looking to live unique experiences,” said Ascent.
The company said among its reasons for offering the service was the traffic condition plaguing the streets of Metro Manila.
A 2017 study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has already estimated that the economic cost of the gridlock has increased to P3.5 billion.