Sao Paulo, Brazil, is one of the most congested cities on earth, with commuters spending many hours each week stuck in traffic. But a new service could enable wealthy travellers to take to the skies in minicab-style helicopters, which can be hailed using a smartphone.
Voom is a new on-demand helicopter booking service. Incubated by A3, the Silicon Valley outpost of aircraft manufacturer Airbus, Voom claims to be the first of its kind in the world, offering commuters the opportunity to soar above gridlocked streets and arrive at their destination in a matter of minutes, rather than hours.
The process resembles Uber, a popular ride-hailing app that has become ubiquitous in many cities around the world. A key difference is the pick-up location – a minicab can stop almost anywhere, whereas a Voom helicopter will arrive at the nearest helipad, determined by the app. The user then chooses a boarding time, on the proviso that actual take-off will be within half an hour of the chosen slot.