Fly Blade, Inc. (“BLADE”), a digitally powered-aviation company and the largest arranger of helicopter flights for civilian travel in the United States, announced that in March 2019, they will be launching an Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”) pilot program in India, that will initially depart from Juhu and Mahalaxmi in Mumbai, and connect to heliports in Pune and Shirdi.
According to a press release, BLADE has formed a Joint Venture known as BLADE India with Hunch Ventures, and will also partner with several key portfolio companies such as Quintessentially, the largest luxury travel concierge in India and TV network GoodTimes.
BLADE Lounges are currently being constructed at convenient urban heliports and it will enable pilots to avoid large commercial airports as they transform four to eight hour drives into short 35-minute flights.
“India’s major cities are consistently ranked as the most congested in the world. By broadening consumers’ access to on-demand aviation, we can start to mitigate these issues today, while building the foundation for Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) services tomorrow,” Rob Wiesenthal, the CEO of BLADE, is quoted saying in a press release.
In addition, former AirAsia CEO Amar Abrol has been named as the CEO of BLADE India.
“BLADE’s technology, customer experience, and highly-recognized brand give BLADE India the backbone it needs to offer a desirable and scalable product. We look forward to working closely with the relevant Indian authorities as we expand our offerings across the country,” Abrol is quoted saying in a press release.