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Blade (company)

Blade is a digitally-powered aviation company based in New York City.[1] BLADE allows users to create their own crowdsourced flights or purchase seats on pre-existing flights between Manhattan, the Hamptons, Nantucket, the Jersey Shore, Miami and all NYC surrounding airports.[2]

Fly BLADE, Inc.
Private
Industry Technology, Transportation, Aviation
Founded May 2014
Founder Rob Wiesenthal, Steve Martocci
Headquarters New York City, United States
Key people
  • Brandon Keene
  • Evan Licht
  • Kathleen McCormack
  • Melissa Tomkiel
Services Mobile Application, Helicopter Transfer, Helicopter Charter, Scheduled air service, SaaS Aviation Technologies
Number of employees
24
Website flyblade.com

Blade’s mobile platform bridges the needs of consumers and aviation operators to reduce the cost of air travel on private aircraft by maximizing passenger capacity utilization.[3]

All Blade flights are operated by FAA-certified and DOT-licensed air carriers. (reference) Bloomberg

Blade Launched Memorial Day (May 26) of 2014, Blade began arranging flights to the Hamptons. Originally offering three routes, with service between Manhattan, Southampton, East Hampton, and Montauk, all operated by Liberty Helicopters.[4]

As of November 2016, Blade utilizes 11 operators in 22 destinations.[5]

Contents

Core Routes and Lounge FootprintEdit

Since inception, Blade has rapidly grown its footprint of private lounges. The company currently operates six lounges in three states,[6] including four in Manhattan, one in Nantucket[7] and the Largest Blade Lounge which is located at the Opa Locka Executive Airport in Miami.

In November 2014, Blade launched Blade Bounce,[8] an airport transfer product that enables travelers to book a six-seat helicopter for departure in as little as 20 minutes.[9] Bounce flies between Manhattan and all surrounding metropolitan airports (JFK, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, Teterboro, and Westchester).[10] The trip itself takes approximately five minutes, versus roughly an hour by car.[11] In Fall 2017, Blade began to offer Blade Bounce by the seat for $295 for flights from Manhattan to JFK.[12]

Flight Duration for Key RoutesEdit

Customers are able to create flights or book single seats for crowdsourced helicopter, seaplane, turboprop plane and jet travel.[13]

Route Duration
Manhattan – Southampton 35 minutes
Manhattan – East Hampton 45 minutes
Manhattan – Montauk 55 minutes
Manhattan – Nantucket 90 minutes
Manhattan – Teterboro Airport 5 minutes
Manhattan – Westchester Airport 12 minutes
Manhattan – John F. Kennedy Airport 5 minutes
Manhattan – Newark International Airport 6 minutes
Manhattan – Laguardia Airport 4 minutes
Manhattan – Atlantic City 40 minutes
Manhattan – Monmouth 15 minutes

Jet ServiceEdit

In December 2015, Blade expanded its offerings and launched BLADEone, a seasonal a by-the-seat jet service between Manhattan and Miami. Utilizing a Gulfstream IV jet, the inaugural flight took place on December 3 in conjunction with Art Basel. Each of the 12 individual captain's seats come with their own iPad Pros, which have been preloaded with first run films. Flight attendants wore uniforms designed by Tamara Mellon and served cocktails and a meal designed by chef Todd English. On board amenity kits were designed by Jack Spade, suede slippers by Del Toro, skin care products by La Mer, toothbrush by Quip among several other amenities.[14]

Later in the season Blade introduced the Setai One-Click Miami Weekend, a collaboration between the aviation company and the Setai Hotel. Included was a round-trip flight from Westchester County Airport to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on BLADEone and a two-night stay in a suite at the Setai, round-trip helicopter transfers to Westchester County Airport from BLADE’s Manhattan lounge and airport transfers in a Bentley between BLADE Lounge Miami and The Setai.[15]

In November 2016, Blade announced their second season of BLADEone. Utilizing a Bombardier CRJ 200 commercial airline jet typically configured for 60 passengers, but retrofitted for 16.[16]

BLADEone uniforms were designed by Cynthia Rowley and Sarah Jessica Parker and dubbed as the “chicest uniforms of all time".[17]

In partnership with the Faena Hotel Blade again launched their One-Click weekend. For passengers who book two round trip flights on BLADEone a complimentary room at the Faena will be included in addition to ground transportation between the hotel and Blade Lounge Miami.[18]

Charter OperationsEdit

In May 2015, BLADE launched their aircraft charter operations under moniker Blade Anywhere. Blade anywhere offers charter service between any domestic or international location by utilizing its accessible fleet of helicopters, seaplanes, turboprops and jets.[19]

ActivationsEdit

Over the 2014 July 4th Weekend, Blade partnered with Uber to power UberChopper, a service that allowed Uber users to book a helicopter through their mobile application to The Hamptons.[20]

To avoid gridlock midtown traffic during the UN General Assembly and Pope Francis’s visit to NYC in 2015, BLADE offered a 6 minute[21] cross town shuttle departing every 15 minutes.[22]

In partnership with Velocity and Sessanta restaurant, BLADE offered a Valentine’s Day package which included drinks at the BLADE Lounge, a helicopter downtown, ground transportation and dinner.[23]

During the 2016 Sundance Film Festival BLADE provided jet service on the BLADEone jet between NYC and the festival. They created a lounge located in a residence on a private farm[24] and offered heli transfers from Salt Lake City International Airport to the property,[25] located minutes from downtown.

During the 2016 Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida, BLADE partnered with Yachtlife to power a by-the-seat boat shuttle between South Beach and the Artist Dock at the festival.[26] Notable passengers included The Chainsmokers, Tiesto and Deadmau5.[27]

At Coachella Music Festival in 2016, BLADE partnered with Uber to offer Uberchopper powered by BLADE, a helicopter service between Los Angeles and Coachella Valley at the Thermal Airport.[28]

In partnership with Uber Boston, BLADE launched Uber Air over Memorial Day 2016 with scheduled flights between Boston and the BLADE Lounge in Nantucket. Utilizing a nine-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop plane from Boston to the island, BLADE was able to cover the 90-mile distance in 40 minutes.[29]

In an effort to capture numerous Tri-State area parents who typically drive between 5 and 8 hours to visit their children on camp visiting day BLADE offered crowdsourced flights between Manhattan or The Hamptons and more than 20 camps in Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York.[30]

In August 2016, BLADE partnered with T-Mobile to create a same-day Hamptons beach experience. Flights departed Sunday mornings to East Hampton Airport where ground transportation brought passengers to the T-Mobile beach lounge[31] where drinks and lunch were included and a flight home the same afternoon. Alleviating the need for expensive overnight stays.

In conjunction with the launch of Net-A-Porter same-day delivery to The Hamptons,[32] BLADE offered an exclusive Hamptons Getaway Kit for purchase on the luxury e-tailers site,[33] the kit includes two one-way BLADE tickets to The Hamptons along with a specially selected kit of summer travel essentials featuring brands like Smythson and Friends.[34]

BLADE is the first helicopter company to offer service to Woodbury Commons premium outlet mall. Launching over Black Friday BLADE offered flights to and from the Simon-owned property between Thanksgiving and Christmas.[35]

OppositionEdit

There has been pushback within The Hamptons community against increased air traffic at the local East Hampton Airport. Opponents claim that noise levels have increased as a direct result of increased air traffic.

East Hampton Airport has long been owned and operated by the local municipality. This detail has caused a significant rift in the community, as politicians and residents fight over whether to accept Federal Aviation Administration funds or not. Recently, the Town of East Hampton reached an agreement with the FAA to self-fund the airport, allowing them to impose stricter rules on air traffic.[36]

On April 16, 2015, The Town of East Hampton voted to adopt strict laws limiting air traffic in and out of the East Hampton Airport. Beginning summer of 2015, there was a ban on all flights from 11:00PM to 7:00AM. Any aircraft that fell under the Town's classification of “noisy” (aircraft with an Effective Perceived Noise in Decibels EPNdB approach level of 91.0 or greater) was forbidden from taking off or landing from 8:00PM to 9:00AM all year and was limited to one landing and one takeoff per week. There is currently a lawsuit against the FAA for its part in waiving grant assurances that allowed the Town to enact these rules.[37]

In November 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the three ordinances[38] that the town put into place a year ago in order to rein in noise and activity at the airport illegal. The ordinance that included a curfew on all noisy high-decibel aircraft between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. is no more. The ordinance that restricted noisy aircraft to just one trip a week is no more. The ordinance that required a curfew on all aircraft traffic between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. is no more.[39]

OperationsEdit

Passengers must download the BLADE app to their iOS or Android device, sign up for an account, and enter additional information such as a valid phone number and credit card details. When a passenger wants to fly, he or she opens the app and selects an existing flight to join at a time that works for them. If no times work for the passenger, he or she can crowdsource their own flight at a more convenient time; any remaining seats on a crowdsourced flight may then go on to be sold to other flyers through the digital community BLADE provides in-app.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "BLADE Announces the Second Season of BLADEone, the First Scheduled Private Jet Service Between New York City and Miami". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  2. ^ "BLADE – The Sharpest Way to Fly". BLADE. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  3. ^ "BLADE Revolutionizes Air Travel to the Hamptons | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  4. ^ "'Beats by Dre for Aviation': This App Will Helicopter You to the Hamptons (With a Maserati As Backup)". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  5. ^ Inc., Flyblade,. "BLADE Announces the Second Season of BLADEone, the First Scheduled Private Jet Service Between New York City and Miami". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  6. ^ "BLADE Announces the Second Season of BLADEone, the First Scheduled Private Jet Service Between New York City and Miami". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  7. ^ Jameson, Daniel. "This Summer, Book an Airplane Ticket—Through Uber". CNT. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  8. ^ Hennessey, Rachel. "BLADE App Will Now Fly You to Your Flight". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  9. ^ Frank, Robert (2014-11-25). "Choppering to your private jet just got cheaper". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  10. ^ "BLADE Bounce - Helicopter Airport Transfer Service - BLADE". BLADE. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  11. ^ Fox, Emily Jane (2014-11-25). "How the .01% do Thanksgiving: helicoptering to private jets". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  12. ^ "Blade - The Uber Of Helicopters Has Finally Arrived!". While We Are Young. 2016-11-01. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  13. ^ "Fly from New York for Art Basel". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  14. ^ "'Uber for helicopters' startup Blade now offers private jet service to Miami, and it wants your flight to be as fun as your vacation". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  15. ^ Vora, Shivani (2016-03-02). "Tour and Hotel News: 'Downton Abbey' Trip; 'House of Cards' Stay". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  16. ^ "BLADE Unveils Retrofitted CRJ-200 for Flights to Miami". The Points Guy. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  17. ^ "Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Rowley Designed the Chicest Flight Attendant Uniforms of All Time". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  18. ^ "BLADE Unveils Retrofitted CRJ-200 for Flights to Miami". The Points Guy. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  19. ^ "BLADE Anywhere – Charter a Private Helicopter, Seaplane or Jet". BLADE. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  20. ^ Merced, Michael J. de la. "Blade, a Helicopter-Booking App, to Partner With Uber". DealBook. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  21. ^ "Need To Avoid Pope Traffic? Take A Helicopter For $95". Inside Edition. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  22. ^ Sutherl, Amber; Fredericks, Bob (2015-09-24). "Avoid papal traffic with a $95 helicopter ride". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  23. ^ "Take her to the moon (or the Lower East Side) with Blade's Valentine's Day extravaganza". Luxury Listings NYC. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  24. ^ Dobson, Jim. "The Best of Park City: Celebrities and Billionaires Flock to this Snowy Mountain Utah Escape". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  25. ^ Dobson, Jim. "The Best of Park City: Celebrities and Billionaires Flock to this Snowy Mountain Utah Escape". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  26. ^ "Blade announces speedboat transport to Ultra Music Festival - Dancing Astronaut". dancingastronaut.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  27. ^ "Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, DJ Snake Hit Ultra 2016 (Photos)". TheWrap. 2016-03-20. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  28. ^ Atkinson, Claire (2016-03-25). "Blade partners with Uber to offer helicopter rides to Coachella". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  29. ^ Jameson, Daniel. "This Summer, Book an Airplane Ticket—Through Uber". CNT. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  30. ^ "Why Drive to Summer Camp When You Can Take a Helicopter?". Town & Country Magazine. 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  31. ^ "The Ultimate Day Trip - BLADE". BLADE. 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  32. ^ Euler, Laura (2016-06-16). "Net-A-Porter and MR PORTER partner with Blade to the Hamptons". Curbed Hamptons. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  33. ^ Harris, Taylor (2016-06-15). "Net-a-porter, Mr Porter Partner With Blade". WWD. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  34. ^ "Net-a-Porter & Mr. Porter Partner with Blade for the Ultimate in Stylish Convenience This Summer". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  35. ^ Atkinson, Claire; Fickenscher, Lisa (2016-11-19). "Woodbury Common is hooking up shoppers with Black Friday helicopter rides". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  36. ^ Ruiz, Michael. "As Season Nears, Helicopter Issue Roils Hamptons". WSJ. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  37. ^ "Aviation Groups Sue East Hampton Town In Effort To Block Recently Approved Airport Restrictions - East Hampton". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  38. ^ "Judge Upholds East Hampton Airport Noise Restrictions". http://www.danspapers.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18.  External link in |website= (help)
  39. ^ "Airport Chaos: Court Won't Enforce New East Hampton Airport Rules". http://www.danspapers.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18.  External link in |website= (help)