ASCENT Urban Mobility Philippines Inc. on Monday introduced a digital platform that allows users to book on-demand flights on their smartphones.

In a statement, the technology startup said users “can instantly purchase helicopter flights by the seat and by the route at their own time directly from the platform.”

Ascent Chief Executive Officer Lionel Sinai-Sinelnikoff said the platform aims to offer convenience to Ascent users who want to skip the traffic and access business and leisure destinations “in a matter of minutes.”

“Apart from providing helicopter flights up to a tenth of a cost more affordable than regular charter flights, we aim to further contribute to the democratization of urban air mobility through offering seamless on-demand flights on our platform,” Mr. Sinai-Sinelnikoff added.

The digital platform also allows users to avail of value-added services including “luggage transport, first and last mile ground transport and fast track amongst other services, directly from the platform,” the company said.

Ascent noted that since its launch in April this year, it has grown its network of routes significantly and currently covers more than 12 activity hotspots in Luzon including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Makati City, Bonifacio Global City, Quezon City, Ortigas, Pasay, Clark, Subic, Batangas, and Tagaytay.

Ascent has said that for the 20-minute chopper ride from NAIA to Tagaytay, one seat costs P21,900. A seat on a three-minute flight from Makati to BGC costs P6,900.

The company said further that it plans to include more destinations in Luzon and expand to more locations in the Visayas and Mindanao.

It said it is currently exploring other markets in Southeast Asia. — Arjay L. Balinbin