Large urban air mobility initiative turns a 90+ minute drive into a 5-minute, weekday helicopter flight
In its largest service expansion to date, BLADE Urban Air Mobility, Inc.
has launched continuous helicopter flights between Manhattan and John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) every weekday from 7am to 7pm. The shared flight service is the largest Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”) initiative in the United States to date and advances BLADE’s mission of continuing to reduce the cost of urban aviation.
Flights operate between BLADE Lounge West at the West 30th Street Heliport and JFK airport, with ground transportation included between the JFK helipad and all commercial terminals. The $195 price is aligned with the approximate cost of an SUV service doing the same route during rush hour.
“The heavy traffic between urban centers and area airports is a key point of friction in city life,” said Rob Wiesenthal, CEO of BLADE, “our UAM service begins to remedy this issue at a reasonable price today, while paving the way for even more affordable solutions tomorrow driven by our partners' next-generation electric aircraft.”
BLADE Lounge West is located only 1,000 feet from Hudson Yards, the largest commercial and residential “city within a city” in the United States, soon to be home to over 50,000 employees from leading companies such as WarnerMedia, HBO, CNN, Blackrock, KKR, and many more. BLADE has a relationship with Hudson Yards that offers exclusive benefits to all tenants.
BLADE and American Airlines recently announced that fliers who are connecting to, or arriving from, an American flight at JFK can be transferred from plane to helicopter using American’s Five Star Service. This enhancement provides a seamless, on-tarmac connection and can be purchased using the BLADE app or directly from American.
On-site at JFK, BLADE will have a presence in the lobby of the soon to be opened, re-imagined, circa 1962 TWA Hotel. Hotel guests can immediately arrange for BLADE flights to Manhattan or to any destination BLADE flies.
Flights are on BELL 206L-4 helicopters. The BELL helicopters being utilized have one of the lowest noise footprints within the industry. Certain municipalities in the New York area have designated the BELL 206L-4 a “Not Noisy” aircraft classification.
BLADE will also continue working with partners such AIRBUS, BELL, and Lockheed Martin to prepare for an eventual equipment swap of conventional helicopters for Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (“eVTOL”) aircraft. eVTOL will have reduced noise and environmental footprints as well as lower operating costs. Over time, this gradual equipment swap will result in lower prices for fliers as well as more landing zone options in the future.