Airbus Helicopters partners with Blade to boost Urban Air Mobility business

Las Vegas, 28 February 2018 – Airbus Helicopters and Fly Blade, Inc. (“Blade”), a digitally-powered aviation leader servicing 22 core routes in 7 U.S. states, have signed a strategic partnership to develop new premium on-demand helicopter flight experiences, paving the way for enhanced urban air mobility solutions to benefit the future of vertical flight.

“Airbus continues to develop the future of the urban air mobility (UAM) market, and this partnership is the next logical step in our quest to offer customers the full spectrum of urban air travel solutions,” says Matthieu Louvot, Executive Vice President of Customer Support and Services for Airbus Helicopters. “We are constantly seeking out new opportunities to add another dimension to urban transport networks. By partnering with Blade, we are setting a strong foundation for the next step, which will be the successful deployment of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) systems.”

Launched in 2014, Blade arranges more civilian transport by helicopter than any other company in the U.S. and specializes in offering customers a seamless end-to-end flying experience. The partnership agreement will allow Airbus Helicopters to incorporate Blade’s unique expertise developed in the US market with premium services such as comprehensive booking and operator technology platforms, “gate to helicopter” airport transfers, multi-state lounge network and high touchpoint customer experience into its overall on-demand helicopter services portfolio. This strategic alliance complements Airbus’ Voom offering in emerging markets. It will not only increase customer access to helicopters in urban areas, but it will bring more business to operators as their helicopters will be used more frequently in this new market environment.

“Airbus is the right partner for Blade to help accelerate our expansion into additional U.S. cities and to fortify our international development plans,” said Rob Wiesenthal, CEO of Blade. “We look forward to helping Airbus enhance its business-to-consumer relationships. Together, we will grow on-demand helicopter aviation by broadening consumer accessibility today, and facilitating the transition to eVTOL tomorrow.”

The partnership with Blade will complement Airbus’ global UAM business strategy, which is already in swift development through Voom, the fast expanding helicopter taxi service which has flown thousands of passengers since it launched commercial operations in April 2017 in Sao Paulo and Airbus Ride, an event-based helicopter shuttle service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: terry@corporatejetinvestor.com or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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