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Chopper firm Fly Blade forays into India in JV with Hunch

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

US-based helicopter transport services provider Tuesday announced its foray into the domestic aviation market in a with equity investment firm Ventures.

As part of its plans, the Indian subsidiary plans to offer intra-city as well as inter-city helicopter charter services, starting March next year, chief executive and former officer of Air Asia Amar said.

The firm will be connecting to and with heliports, departing from Juhu and Mahalaxmi, he said.

"There is neither intra-state connectivity nor within the city, where commuting consumes a lot of time. So, there exists a huge opportunity. We are going to cut that travel time significantly," said

The digitally powered-aviation company, Blade, is the largest arranger of helicopter flights for in the This would be the first time the company is venturing out of the US.

is also partnering with several key portfolio companies, including Quintessentially, the largest in the country, and GoodTimes, a television network, the company said.

"India's major cities are consistently ranked as the most congested in the world. By broadening consumers' access to on-demand aviation, we can start to mitigate these issues today, while building the foundation for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) services tomorrow," said Rob Wiesenthal, chief executive, Blade.

Justifying the company's entry in a price sensitive market like India where the aviation sector is struggling with high costs amid inflating fuel bills and rupee depreciation, said, "It is absolutely the right time. Obviously, there is explosive growth in the market, which is growing at around 20 per cent."

"The rupee fall and increase is a temporary aberration. Potentially a little bit of over capacity in the fixed wing market. The solution that is being offered here is quite unique, which does not exist in the market," he added.

The subsidiary is claiming to price the flights "significantly lower" than private chartered jets.

Delhi-based air chartered services provider JetSetGo-owned SkyShuttle had in September announced the launch of its shared business jet and from Juhu to Tarapore and Vapi (Gujrat) at a whopping Rs 21,000-29,250 for a 45-minute journey.

"Given the challenges of building transportation infrastructure in our country, we will utilise India's existing network of heliports to launch a UAM (urban air mobility pilot programme) solution immediately," said Karanpal Singh, founder,

According to Amit Dua, general partner, Hunch Ventures, the company will focus on the top two to three million affluent households spread across the country to begin with.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 21:05 IST