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Ascent brings pioneer helicopter ride-sharing platform to PH

Singapore-based tech startup offers scheduled flights between NAIA, Metro Manila, Clark, and Tagaytay

Manila, Philippines –– Singapore-based tech startup Ascent officially launches its pioneer helicopter ride-sharing platform in the country in an effort to help Filipinos save time and boost productivity by making commuting more efficient in the traffic-congested capital.

Founded last year by Chief Executive Officer Lionel Sinai-Sinelnikoff and Chief Commercial Officer Darren Tng, the company offers scheduled flights in the Philippines. Passengers can fly between locations such as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, central business districts (CBDs) in Makati, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig, and Quezon City, as well as regional locations in Clark and Tagaytay. 

The Philippines is expected to lose P5.4 billion daily by 2035 if there are no interventions done for traffic congestion in Metro Manila, according to a 2017 study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Ascent aims to provide an alternative, safe, reliable, and more convenient way of travelling in the city by air, which allows its customers to avoid traffic, take control of their time, and utilize it to seize more business opportunities.

“Despite being one of the fastest growing business hubs in Southeast Asia, Manila’s traffic situation is also one of the worsts 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 that are not very much utilized. Through the Ascent platform, we aim to connect CBDs more easily and promote the country as an ideal destination to conduct business through urban air mobility.” 

Urban Air Mobility or UAM, more than just a rising buzz word, is a kind of transportation that spares commuters from the chokepoints met by vehicles travelling by land.

In providing a more seamless and cost-efficient travelling experience for commuters, Ascent also offers services such as luggage transport, on-ground guest assistance, airport transfers via helicopter, shuttle services to dedicated heliports, and corporate packages. 

For its operations in Manila, Ascent partnered with local aviation company Iloilo-Negros Air Express Company (INAEC) as its first provider of helicopter units. “We are confident that having a platform like Ascent timely—it’s what this generation needs. The fast-paced era of digital transformation is a reality and the way people move from one city to another, be it for work or play, should match the speed of digitization,” said Benjamin R. Lopez, director of INAEC.

Ascent hopes to make its 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.