Friday, May 3, 2019

Skip the Traffic, Feel Like the 1 Percent with This New Helicopter Ride Sharing Service


Want to skip traffic and feel like how the 1 percent live? Well, now you can with Ascent, a tech startup that’s now offering, get this, helicopter ride-sharing to various destinations in Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces.

Founded last year by Chief Executive Officer Lionel Sinai-Sinelnikoff and Chief Commercial Officer Darren Tng, the company enables you to book a helicopter seat with just a few clicks or taps. Routes include locations such as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, central business districts (CBDs) in Makati, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig, and Quezon City, and soon in regional locations in Clark and Tagaytay. The helicopter services will be operated by INAEC Aviation Corporation.

“Despite being one of the fastest growing business hubs in Southeast Asia, Manila’s traffic situation is also one of the most challenging in the region. With the launch of Ascent in the Philippines, we hope to provide a solution that is highly relevant to the current times’ economic and productivity pitfalls caused by congested roads,” said Sinai-Sinelnikoff. “CBDs in Metro Manila have an untapped transportation opportunity. There is a good number of helipads and helicopters with low utilization.  Through the Ascent platform, we aim to connect CBDs more easily and promote the country as an ideal destination to conduct business helped by urban air mobility.”


Currently, Ascent’s system isn’t an on-demand ride sharing like Grab. Instead, there are routine flights on a daily basis (check the list here). Flyers have to be at the pick-up point 20 minutes before their scheduled flight. The flights themselves take around just 7 to 15 minutes.

Aside from offering a more cost-effective travelling experience for the ultra-busy executive, Ascent also offers services such as luggage transport, on-ground guest assistance, airport transfers via helicopter, shuttle services to dedicated heliports, and corporate packages. Ascent also offers dedicated enterprise solutions.

Ascent hopes to make the services accessible to more customers as it plans to expand to more locations in the Philippines, including major cities in Visayas and Mindanao, as well as other Southeast Asian countries in the next few years.

Currently, the following routes are available on Ascent. Prices indicated are per person:
  • NAIA (INAEC Manila Hangar) to BGC (V&A Law Center) – P 8,900 (10 minutes flight time)
  • NAIA (INAEC Manila Hangar) to Quezon City (SM North EDSA) – P 8,900 (12 minutes flight time)
  • NAIA (INAEC Manila Hangar) to Makati (The Peninsula Manila) – P 7,900 (10 minutes fight time)
  • BGC (V&A Law Center) to Makati (The Peninsula Manila) – P 6,900 (7 minutes flight time)
  • BGC (V&A Law Center) to NAIA (INAEC Manila Hangar) – P 8,900 (10 minutes flight time)
  • BGC (V&A Law Center) to Quezon City (SM City North EDSA) – P 9,900 (12 minutes flight time)
  • Quezon City (SM City North EDSA) to NAIA (INAEC Manila Hangar) – P 10,900 (15 minutes flight time)
  • Quezon City (SM City North EDSA) to BGC (V&A Law Center) – P 9,900 (12 minutes flight time)

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