LONDON – Blade Urban Air Mobility, a New York registered Helicopter charter firm, has launched its first-ever service in the tourist Indian State of Goa.
Blade Urban Air Mobility’s joint venture with Blade India and Delhi-based venture capital firm Hunch Ventures, marks the third state for Blade’s short-haul operation in India since its introduction in late 2019.
Blade sees opportunities for revenues to be made during the end of August when the tourism season kicks in and monsoon showers lighten.
BLADE is an urban air mobility company committed to shaving off travel time with a personalised flying experience and providing alternatives to other means of transportation within and between states and cities.
The two states that BLADE has a presence in are Maharashtra, which launched in 2019, and Karnataka in 2020.
Managing Director at BLADE India Amit Dutta stated, “The Goa airport and North-South Goa have always been disconnected due to the road travel time involved and have been a pain point for travellers in Goa and locals alike.”
“He stated that the goal is to bridge the gap between the two locations and help local communities and businesses thrive by being connected.”
BLADE’s affordability will propel tourism in the region and will ease congestion.
Fares will start at $60 per head, a modest price compared to £35 by road from Goa Airport to North and South of Goa. Moreover, Blade also offers Helitours sightseeing flights of 10 to 15 minutes at $320 for four people.
BLADE has positioned itself to be an alternative mode of transportation and reiterates that it is not an all-out luxury company. Co-Founder of BLADE India Karanpal Singh stated that:
“The flying for us is basic–that is not the luxury.”
“The connectivity and convenience is the luxury. The versatility of a helicopter and the fact that I don’t necessarily need to go to an airport, that it can land me in the middle of the city is my favourite part of the experience.”
Furthermore, the opening of the operations in Goa is welcomed by the Chief Minister of Goa who was also present at the press meeting.
“Heli-tourism will let us explore the hinterlands of Goa,” said Pramod Sawant, chief minister of Goa, at the launch. “We will provide any kind of support for such initiatives to promote tourism in Goa.”
BLADE is very enthusiastic and ambitious about the Indian market. The company has pointed out 40 routes in the country that can be converted into helicopter services as an alternative to other means of transport to cars and busses.
BLADE India’s fleet consists of five new Airbus H125s and has H130s on order. Delivery of the first should take place by the end of the year.
The company is optimistic about its growth trajectory and with the increase in the fleet later this year may likely see the company opening up more bases.
This will encourage more tourism in the region and provide alternatives for locals and tourists alike for their travel options.