In another step towards development, United States’ biggest helicopter flight arranger for civilians ‘Fly Blade Inc.’ has been roped in to commence its operations in India. The company will kick off its first-ever kind of services by shuttling between Mumbai and Pune.
The services are said to start from March 2019. Mumbai’s Juhu and Mahalaxmi areas have been demarcated for the take off of the helicopters. Once the Mumbai-Pune operations are in line, Shirdi too will be added to the list.
This is the first time ‘Fly Blade Inc.’ is launching its operations outside the US. The American company has associated with a Delhi-based equity investment firm ‘Hunch ventures’ to commence its services. An investment of over $100 million has been pumped in this consumer-facing business in India.
Announcing the joint venture’s name ‘Blade India’, CEO of Blade, Rob Wiesenthal said, "The service will help customers avoid large commercial airports entirely as they transform unpredictable four to eight hours drive into short 35-minute flights."
As compared to the prices of availing private chartered jets, Blade India’s carriers will be priced “significantly lower”. Presently, the cost of a private chartered jet from Mumbai to Pune is $8,000 approximately.
"Our service will be priced downward of what a private jet will cost," said Wiesenthal.
The services have been launched in India keeping in mind to reduce the people’s commute to the airports.
Karanpal Singh, founder of Hunch, said, “Given the challenges of building transportation infrastructure in our country, we will utilize India’s existing network of heliports to launch a UAM (urban air mobility) solution immediately."
The joint venture which is partnered with Hunch portfolio companies is inclusive of ‘Quintessentially’- India’s largest luxury travel concierge and a customer loyalty programme with 3 lakh HNIs.
Former head of AirAsia, Amar Abrol, will now be heading the Indian operations.
Aping the US model of having an asset-light model, the Indians operations too will collaborate with the helicopter owners in India for its services. “We have already signed a few agreements with helicopter owners. We will be signing more," said Abrol.
Information source: moneycontrol
Title image source: qrius