Blade is an American chopper charter company with a considerable presence in New York. It is a type of air-taxi where you can buy a seat on an existing route. One can also crowdsource their flights and sell seats across Blade’s platform. In addition to this, Blade also provides Helicopter transfers from Manhattan to neighboring airports. They are the largest Helicopter service provider for civilians in the USA.
For the first time, Blade will venture outside of USA. Blade announced their Indian operations a couple of days ago. Blade has roped in Amar Abrol as the CEO of their Indian operations. For those who don’t know, Amar Abrol was earlier the CEO of AirAsia India.
Initially, Blade plans to launch services from Juhu and Mahalaxmi heliports in Mumbai and connect them to heliports in Pune and Shirdi. Blade will construct the Blade Lounge at these airports. Currently, Blade has four lounges in Manhattan and one in Miami with lounges in Nantucket, Westchester, and Los Angeles under construction.
Blade hasn’t announced any details regarding timings or prices or an exact launch date. They have confirmed that operations will begin in March 2019.
Blade currently has all helicopters on lease in their USA operations. In India, most of the helicopter operators own their birds. There are already companies which provide their helicopter charter service. HeliTaxii already provides airport transfer to Bengaluru Airport from Electronic city. They have even applied and may soon start service between HAL (old Bengaluru Airport) and BIAL (new airport).
Even JetSetGo started shuttle service between Mumbai and Vapi in addition to Mumbai and Bengaluru. It also provides Helicopter charter services on various other routes.
Blade has invested a lot into technology which has helped them grow at a fast rate in the USA. There is a considerable demand on pilgrim routes in India and intercity helicopter service are yet to take off properly. Blade will surely fill a gap in the market, but the main hindrance will be lack of infrastructure.
Are you excited for Blade’s foray into India? Would you be hitching a ride with them anytime soon?