Korean start-up launches helicopter taxi

By Anaitha Mildred

SEOUL, 12th June, 2024 (WAM) – A Korean start-up has launched a helicopter taxi service in Seoul, Yonhap news agency reported.

Moviation Inc., an air transportation service startup in the Republic of Korea, launched the service, offering a faster and safer alternative to traditional public transportation. The new on-demand air taxi service, VONAER, provides urban air mobility (UAM) using helicopters to shuttle passengers between Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, and Jamsil in eastern Seoul, covering a distance of approximately 56.8 kilometres.

Flights will be available two weeks from the date of booking and will require a minimum of 8-10 passengers to confirm on the medium-sized Sikorsky S-76C++ aircraft. The one-way fare is 440,000 won (US$320), and the journey takes 20 minutes, compared to the approximately one-hour drive from Incheon airport to Jamsil.

The helicopter flies at 200 kilometres per hour, slowing down to 160 kph when passing over urban areas in Seoul. “Passengers can relax in the lounge located at the helipad, and use the vehicle provided from the helipad to the airport terminal,” said Moviation CEO Shin Min.

He added that the company plans to expand air taxi service routes to other downtown areas in Seoul, including Yeouido. “It is necessary to lay the foundation for the upcoming era of UAM by building the relevant infrastructure and customer base through helicopter services,” he said. “VONAER aims to open and popularise Korean urban aviation services.”