Blade democratises helicopter rides
A helicopter is probably not a means of transport you would consider to go to your next business meeting. Blade, a flying taxi start-up, could change that.
Chartering a helicopter ride is a very expensive way to go to your destination. Blade wants to make it more democratic by crowdsourcing trips. You tell Blade where you want to go and when you want to make your trip, and the company looks for other passengers that can take the same flight. Comparable with ridehailing services that operate on the ground, Blade will not own aircraft but will merely bring passengers and flight providers together.
Today, Blade is already operational in the Bay Area, where passengers can book trips on helicopters, private jets and even seaplanes for at least $200 per seat.
Blade was founded by Rob Wiesenthal, a former Warner Music Group executive who raised around $50 million in venture capital. It is backed by Lerer Hippeau, Airbus and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. According to reports in Business Insider, the company has previously partnered up with Uber to ferry Coachella attendees to and from Van Nuys airport to Palm Springs.
Blade will have to share the ridehailing in the sky. Previously, Uber has announced a service, UberAIR, that will offer short-term shareable flights starting in 2023.