Manila — A new startup may have the answer for cashed-up travellers desperate to beat the gridlock in the mega cities of Southeast Asia: helicopter ride-sharing. Ascent Flights Global is starting the service in the Philippines next week and plans to expand to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia by 2020. The Singapore-based company lets customers book a seat on a helicopter online for flights during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Targeting executives and luxury travellers, the choppers fly to the Makati and Taguig City central business districts, as well as airports in Manila and Clark north of the capital. The shortest flight between the two business districts cuts travel time from half an hour to three minutes, with seats going for 6,900 pesos ($133) each. The longest flight between the two airports will cost 25,900 ($497) pesos for a 30-minute trip that would usually take three hours. Local charter business Inaec Aviation is proving the helicopters and pilots. “We believe the ...

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