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South Korean start-up launches VTOL service concept which adapts from carbon fuel to electricity

South Korean start-up MOVIATION has launched a pioneering helicopter air taxi concept, VONAER, initially powered by conventional fossil fuel engines but with the capability of a swift adaption to electric engines when they become available. The UAM service platform, which was unveiled on February 2, 2023, aims to offer a helicopter air taxi to regular users before the commercialization of eVTOL aircraft.

According to the company:

“VONAER offers a sophisticated air mobility service app that allows regular users to reserve air taxis effortlessly, providing a seamless travel experience that includes F&B (food and beverage) service in exclusive vertistop lounges, luggage transportation, and premium first & last mile ground transportation services that embody Total MaaS (Mobility as a Service).

“VONAER’s vertistop lounge, utilizing a conventional helipad for vertiport expansion consideration, aims to enhance public acceptability of air mobility and obtain crucial customer insights through data analysis from service operations.

“Once eVTOL aircraft are certified, VONAER plans to convert its helicopter into eVTOL and leverage the existing infrastructure.

According to a company spokesperson: “We will seamlessly expand our UAM business by converting the aircraft when eVTOL commercialization is achieved, leveraging the invaluable experience and know-how gained through VONAER… Through VONAER, we shall establish ourselves as the premier UAM service provider in South Korea and become a leading company in the global UAM market.”

The initial “exclusive” “VON Private” pilot service, available to privileged members, is set to begin in March and run until May. The service will originate from the centre of Seoul downtown, where passengers can choose their destination. The more accessible “VON Routine” service will commence in June, offering a fixed route service between Seoul downtown and the International Airport.

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