Urban air mobility (UAM) company, BLADE India entered into a partnership with Airbus, to further expand its ‘on-demand’ helicopter services. To meet the significant demand and response in India, BLADE will be inducting five new H125 to its fleet initially. The helicopters will be provided to operators by a GIFT-City based leasing company taking advantage of the Government of India’s new initiative. BLADE will be underwriting flight hours through partner operators who have been specifically chosen based on their experience in ensuring the highest level of safety standards, equipment maintenance and operating protocols.
“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. Indian cities rank amongst the most congested in the world. Our economy is being powered by several disruptions in digital, fintech, etc. Short-haul air mobility is poised to be the next big one,” said Amit Dutta, Managing Director – BLADE India. “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.’’
Launched in India in 2019, BLADE is pioneering the urban air mobility space through a technology driven seamless booking platform offering quality flier experience. Since its inception, BLADE has been in active discussions with state governments and tourism boards to introduce short-haul air mobility services across India. BLADE India is the joint venture of Blade UAM Inc. US and Hunch Ventures Group India, promoted by Karanpal Singh.
“It is extremely gratifying that we are able to deliver on the promise we made earlier this year with the signature of an MoU 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. In addition, they provide the foundational elements such as heliports and operational routes, paving the way for future UAM operations,” said Sunny Guglani, Head of Airbus Helicopters for India and South Asia. “We will continue to support our partners’ investments in UAM, including by providing them with access to Airbus Helicopters operators to grow their fleet and services network in the region.”
Airbus H125 (previously named the AS350 B3e) has proven to be a market leader for urban transportation, HeliTourism, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and other multi-missions in India and globally. The H125 is a member of Airbus’ Ecureuil family, which has accumulated almost 36 million flight hours worldwide. The optimised cabin of the H125 features a flat floor that can be easily and quickly reconfigured for various mission types. It features dual hydraulics, dual channel engine FADEC, a crash resistant fuel system, and advanced glass-panel cockpit displays. In 2005, an AS350 B3 broke the world record for the highest-altitude landing and takeoff, performed on Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 feet), a title still held today.