Airbus has closed the doors on its Voom urban air mobility (UAM) project, according to an announcement from Voom CEO Clément Monnet on Monday. The on-demand helicopter “air taxi” booking platform officially launched in 2016 and has been operating in São Paulo, Brazil, since 2017, Mexico City, Mexico, since 2018 and California’s San Francisco Bay area since September 2019. Voom suspended operations on March 23 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic but decided on March 30 it would not be resuming service.
“Scaling globally isn’t easy for any business, and we found this to be especially true in an expensive industry with a truly transformative model for both Airbus and the transportation market as a whole,” said Monnet. “Couple these truths with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and we have been faced with some hard choices, as are so many businesses today.”
Voom says that it saw more than 150,000 active app users and flew over 15,000 helicopter passengers during the course of its operations. The company also reported a 45 percent repeat customer rate. According to Airbus, it will continue to “invest in the urban mobility sector and is leveraging the knowledge gained through Voom.”