Grab, German Startup Team Up To Explore Air Taxi Services In Southeast Asia
Feb 23, 2020

Singapore-based ride-hailing and e-commerce company Grab partnered with German aviation startup Volocopter to explore the opportunity of deploying air taxi services in selected cities in Southeast Asia.

In a first step, the firms will conduct a joint feasibility study which will look into the most suitable cities and routes to offer air taxi rides, evaluate the best-use cases for air taxis and prepare joint flight tests.

Volocopter recently demonstrated its electric aircraft at a tech conference in Singapore, complete with a temporary “VoloPort” landing pad that was meant to illustrate a future in which people use electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles to hop from rooftop to rooftop in dense urban settings.

“This cooperation is another important step towards the commercialisation of urban air mobility in one of the most traffic-congested regions of the world,“ Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said in a statement on February 17.

Urban air mobility solutions to make life for commuters easier

The partnership with Grab is a sign that Volocopter sees Southeast Asia as a likely launchpad for its aerial ambitions. Grab also operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Japan.

“The collaboration also offers the potential for a much larger cooperation which could eventually extend intermodal mobility to the skies,” Reuter added.

Grab said the service would be a welcome addition to its existing ride-hailing services in the region.

“This partnership will enable us to further develop urban air mobility solutions that are relevant for Southeast Asian commuters so they can decide on their preferred journey option based on their budgets, time constraints and other needs, in a seamless way,” Grab Ventures managing director Chris Yeo said.