Flying High At Festivals


Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Let’s face it, many of us have had that dream…flying high in to a glamourous festival and glamping (not camping) and returning to tell our friends about it all. Well, this week Blade, the New York-based private helicopter service made that fantasy a reality with its offer to fly passengers to the Coachella music festival in California. This, I suspect, is only the beginning of a set of new revenue streams for the helicopter charter industry.

The simple fact is that leisure has not only become a pastime, but has become ubiquitous among a new generation of the affluent young and festivals have become the new place to be seen. The old green wellies have been replaced by Hunters and “festival style” has entered the lexicon. The next natural step for the helicopter charter industry to step into the sector by offering charter services. Why watch your heroes when you can be like them and see the fields of Coachella or Glastonbury from your own private helicopter? Instead of making your way to a festival in a clapped out car or van, arrive in style. It’s only a matter of time before charter services around the globe start tapping into the market.

Just to round up the numbers, the flight, which can be purchased via the Uber app, will cost $4,170 for a charter that can sit up to six people at $695 each. Expensive? But for the one event you are going to attend all year, possibly not.

Uber said: “On the day of your flight, an Uber SUV will pick up you and your five friends. Your driver will take you to the Blade Lounge at the Van Nuys Airport, where you will enjoy a Casamigos Tequila open bar before boarding the Airbus EC-130 helicopter. You will touch down at Indio Blade Desert Lounge in under an hour and enjoy cocktails before an Uber SUV takes you to the festival, just minutes away.” Not too shabby then?

Uber will also offer an SUV back to LA for $399 for those who reserve a chopper. In this age of (continued) austerity, the helicopter charter industry has to look at new opportunities and this one is one the industry should not miss out on.

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