Airbus Launches On-Demand Helicopter Service in Mexico City
Airbus, the producer of the world's largest passenger aircraft, is entering a new arena: The company recently rolled out its on-demand helicopter booking platform, Voom, in Mexico City. Its goal is to alleviate traffic jams for commuters who spend hours sitting in traffic each year -- the average commuter in Mexico City spent about 58 hours in traffic in 2017, according to estimations by Inrix.
Voom originally launched in Sao Paulo and is extending its service to Mexico City, where the infrastructure supports some 200 helipads and has a dedicated air traffic control system in place.
Voom allows users to book chopper rides up to seven days in advance and up to one hour ahead of departure. Airbus plans to extend the service to other places and is currently analyzing cities in Asia.
Overall, orders for helicopters have been falling since 2014. Airbus said that orders for its helicopter fell 5% from 2016, but the demand for passenger aircraft continues to soar, according to CNBC.
Airbus is also in the process of developing self-flying, electric aircraft called Vahana that will be equipped for vertical-take off and landing, or VTOL. Last month, Vahana took its first test flight. For now, Airbus will contract outside helicopter operators to fly Voom rides.