Blade (officially) launches in India with flights between Mumbai/Pune/Shirdi

Blade is an American chopper charter company with a considerable presence in New York, San Francisco & Los Angeles. It is a type of air-taxi where you can buy a seat on an existing route. One can also crowdsource their flights and sell seats across Blade’s platform. In addition to this, Blade also provides Helicopter transfers from Manhattan to neighbouring airports. They are the largest helicopter service provider for civilians in the USA. Recently, they dropped the prices for their JFK to Manhattan services, which brings you into the city for just USD 195. If you want to try them out, you should use the code AJAYA739 to get USD 50 off your helicopter flight from/to Manhattan/Wall Street to the airports (JFK/La Guardia/Newark) and back.

For the first time, Blade will venture outside of USA. Blade announced their Indian operations back in December 2018. It took them a while to bring the concept to execution, having done a soft launch only in November 2019, where they have been offering flights between Mumbai/Pune, Mumbai/Shirdi and Shirdi/Pune using an Airbus 130  (VT-ISG) and has now added a Bell 407 helicopter to the fleet.

BLADE India

One of the first Blade helicopters (Picture courtesy Blade India)

In Mumbai, BLADE operates from the Mahalaxmi Race Course, at Pune from Mundhwa and in Shirdi from Atma Malik Dhyanpeeth. At all of these places, BLADE lounges have been brought up, where you check-in, and you can even grab a drink before take-off.

After a two-month trial period of sorts, where amongst other things, Blade flew people over to the U2 Concert in Navi Mumbai, Blade is now ready for an official launch. Just like in the USA, you can now download the BLADE app in India, register, book yourselves a flight. These flights are operating at all times, even if there is just one passenger or none or all six on the chopper. Your ticket allows you to bring you a 7 kg carry-on along as well. The flight time between Mumbai and Pune is reduced to 45 minutes compared to the road journey of 4 hours now.

For instance, here is me trying to demo-book a seat on a chopper to Shirdi.

Screen 1: Pick the sector you want to fly

Screen 2: Confirm your itinerary

Screen 3: Add optional services

Screen 4: More optional services

Pick the number of passengers you wish to book and pay with your credit card.

As you can see, there is a whole lot of options there. You can choose to add a Mercedes transfer to your trip, or just a Toyota Camry and so on.

As expected, reports are for Bangalore to be the next destination for Blade. I’m personally looking forward to trying out Blade in the coming days, but if you are already a user, I’d love to hear your comments in the comments section. Also, American Express has some great promotions going on for  BLADE right now, which I will write about separately.

Have you tried out BLADE India already? Do share your experiences with us!

Comments

  1. There’s a 1+1 offer as well as every 3rd flight free offer going on for Plat. Not sure why Amex isn’t advertising it.

  2. Jet Airways was the only operator on the BOM–PNQ route. Since it collapsed, no airline is flying direct between Mumbai and Pune. I see this getting popular with business travellers.

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