US-based helicopter transport services provider Blade's Indian subsidiary on Wednesday said it will induct five new H125 in its fleet to further expand its services and has entered into a partnership with European aviation giant Airbus for this purpose.
The new machines are being added to meet the significant demand and response from the Indian market for its "on-demand" helicopter services, it said.
The helicopters will be provided to operators by a GIFT City-based leasing company taking advantage of the Government of India's new initiative, the company said adding that Blade will underwrite flight hours through partner operators.
"Blade India is delighted to announce the expansion of its services and network by selecting the H125. We are pioneering short-haul air mobility services in the country in partnership with Airbus," Amit Dutta, managing director of Blade India, said.
He noted that short-haul air mobility is poised to be the next big one in the area of air connectivity.
Dutta added, "We are fortunate to have excellent support from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, India, which recently announced sweeping policy changes to accelerate the growth of the vertical lift industry."
Airbus H125, previously named the AS350 B3e, has proven to be a market leader for urban transportation, heli-tourism, emergency medical services (EMS) and other multi-mission in India and globally, the company said.
Launched in 2019, Blade India, which is a joint venture of Blade UAM Inc US and Karanpal Singh-promoted Hunch Ventures Group India, currently offers its services in Maharashtra and has already announced to launch operations to Karnataka from next month.
Since its inception, Blade has been in active discussions with state governments and tourism boards to introduce short-haul air mobility services across India, it stated.
"It is gratifying that we are able to deliver on the promise we made earlier this year with the signature of an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Blade India.
"Helicopter operations in urban environments are an essential building block for the development of new services such as emergency medical services (EMS), tourism and air taxis for efficient mobility," said Sunny Guglani, head of Airbus Helicopters for India and South Asia.
Airbus Helicopters will continue to support its partners' investments in UAM, including by providing them with access to Airbus Helicopters operators, to grow their fleet and services network in the region, he added.
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