If you’re up for a sky-high adventure over the metropolis or nearby areas in the south, you can now go for a helicopter ride for that kind of travel experience.
With the only helipad in the Alabang area, Acacia Hotel Manila now offers guests to elevate their mobility and leisure experience with its recently forged partnership with Ascent, Asia’s helicopter ride-sharing program.
“In line with our continued focus on being a key activity hub in Alabang with exceptional hospitality, our aim is to increase the connectivity of our guests alongside a remarkable experience through Filipino hospitality and excellent accommodations.
Our guests use our helipad to go to Calatagan, Tagaytay, or Makati. So when Ascent approached us, it’s perfect for us,” says Bobby Horrigan, general manager of Acacia Hotel Manila.
“I’m happy to bring our company that will fundamentally change how people move, travel and live within Alabang. We believe we can alleviate modern mobility by looking to the skies,” opens Darren T’ng, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Ascent, as he formally introduced how Ascent can elevate today’s mobility. “For us, traffic and connectivity have always been a problem in urbanizing areas, especially with the urbanization we are going through. Fifty percent of the population now lives in mega cities and this number will soon be 5 billion in 2030, making traffic and connectivity a bigger challenge than ever before. In Metro Manila alone, we get stuck in traffic for 17 days on an annual basis, just virtually sitting in the car stuck in traffic. We believe this is something we can solve through mobility.
We believe we can elevate modern mobility by looking to the skies. Essentially, we are unlocking and democratizing another dimension of travel, but all this starts with helicopters today.”
To do this, Ascent has built an ecosystem made of in class air operators, heliports, and hospitality providers, all enabled by technology. Founded in May 2018, Ascent is the pioneer ride-sharing helicopter platform in Southeast Asia that aims to make cities more connected and save passengers’ time by seamlessly transporting within and between major hubs of activity, including airports, business hubs, and leisure hot spots while maintaining a premium yet affordable experience. In the Philippines, the fuel-efficient helicopters are operated by the INAEC Aviation Corp.
Ascent has been in the Philippines for less than a year, but the Singaporean company had served more than a hundred passengers. Its clientele are earmarked at 60 percent coming from the business community, while 40 percent is shared by lifestyle riders who want to live and commute in a certain way and tourists who are out to see the Philippines from above.
For the helicopter rides, “simply go to the Ascent platform [Ascent.flights] and book your seats. Then lounge in one of the networks of helipads, wherein you can rest, relax and meet people. Once boarding time comes, somebody will guide you up to the helipad and safely board you to the aircraft that will take you to your end destination,” says T’ng.
“When we look at mobility, it is not just about a helicopter ride to get you from point A to point B, we have value-added services that can be coordinated by our technology online that makes it fundamentally seamless more than ever before,” adds T’ng.
And these are: airport transfers from Naia to Clark or vice-versa via helicopter rides, (aside from the one in Acacia Hotel Manila) lounge access across a network of helipads, on-ground crew to take care of the passengers’ needs, vehicle transfer from passenger’s location to any helicopter drop-off and to the passenger’s final destination, and even packages tailored to corporate needs at preferential rates and dedicated routes for C-suites.
For a 15-minute helicopter ride from Alabang to Metro Manila, the price point starts from P11,900, excluding VAT. Aside from the Ascent online platform, helicopter rides can be booked via concierge at the front desk of Acacia Hotel Manila.