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Helicopter ride-sharing startup launches platform in PHL

Singapore-based helicopter ride-sharing startup Ascent on Wednesday launched its platform in the country in a bid to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila through air mobility.

During the press launch in Pasay City, Ascent founder and chief executive officer Lionel Sinal-Sinelnikoff said passengers can book flights through the company’s website.

Available routes and their corresponding prices are the following:

  • NAIA - Clark: P25,900
  • Makati - BGC: P6,900
  • NAIA - Tagaytay: P21,900

“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 in the current times’ economic and productivity pitfalls caused by congested roads,” Sinai-Sinelnikoff said, noting that the country is losing P3.5 billion due to traffic congestion.

He added that central business districts in Metro Manila have an untapped transportation opportunity as there is a good number of helipads 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,” he said.

The helicopter services will be operated by local air operator INAEC Aviation Corp.

“Our expertise in ensuring safe and reliable air operations, combined with Ascent’s innovative technology offers perfect solution for the time-sensitive members of business community and individuals,” INAEC general manager Aldi Dexter Ampong said.

Ascent also aims to expand its services in major cities in Visayas and Mindanao as well as to other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, according to Sinai-Sinelnikoff. — MDM, GMA News