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Fly Blade to get Airbus helicopter, plans service in 10 states in 2 years

IANS | September 28, 2022 11:35 AM

CHENNAI: Urban air mobility company Fly Blade India P. Ltd. is likely to get one H125 helicopter from Airbus this October/November, said a top company official.

He also said the company will be launching helicopter service between Bengaluru International Airport and HAL on weekdays starting October 10 at Rs 3, 250 per seat.

The company will subsequently introduce more routes to Whitefield and Electronic City, he added.

"A wholly owned subsidiary in Gujarat's Gift City has placed orders for a couple of helicopters with Airbus. The helicopters will have a seating capacity of 5/6 persons. The first helicopter is expected to be delivered this October/November, " Amit Dutta, Managing Director told IANS.

He said the subsidiary company will lease the helicopter to operators from whom Fly Blade will hire for its operations, " Dutta added.

The Fly Blade is a joint venture between the US-based BLADE Urban Air Mobility Inc. and the New Delhi-based venture capital firm, Hunch Ventures, which began its operations in 2019.

The company has partnered with Airbus and Eve Air Mobility to expand its short-haul air mobility services in India through fleet expansions.

The company began its maiden flights in Maharashtra between Mumbai, Pune and Shirdi. Later it expanded its scheduled by-the-seat helicopter flights to Karnataka (to Coorg, Hampi, and Kabini) and Goa; launched its bed-to-bed air medevac service and also chartered plane service.

Speaking about the proposed helicopter service between Bengaluru International Airport and HAL Airport, he said annually about 40 million people visit the airport and majority of them by taxis that charge about Rs 2, 000. Converting a small percentage of the taxi traffic to helicopter service will be a sizable revenue potential.

"It takes about two hours to reach the Bengaluru International Airport. On the other hand for Rs 3, 250 one can reach the airport in 12 minutes by our helicopter, " Dutta said.

According to him, similar service will be offered in Goa.

Dutta said during the Covid-19 pandemic the company operated medical evacuation flights. After withdrawal of the Covid-19 lock down demand from the domestic tourists have picked up.

The company's flights have an occupancy of about 75 per cent.

According to him, the company plans to expand its network and offer its services in 10 states over the next 24 months leasing about 50 crafts.

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