Helijet, Blade partnership to develop Electric Vertical Aircraft network in BC
December 2, 2021 By Jon Robinson
Helijet International entered into an agreement with Blade Urban Air Mobility Inc. for the sale of exclusive rights for the booking of flights on Helijet’s scheduled service routes. These routes will continue to be operated by Helijet, headquartered in Richmond, BC, as North America’s largest scheduled helicopter airline. Blade is based in New York City.
Helijet explains the exclusive rights sale is part of a new operating partnership aimed at introducing additional routes and delivering the first commercially available and sustainable Electric Vertical Aircraft (EVA) service to the British Columbia market. The partnership will focus developing new route networks in BC and the Pacific Northwest, as well as future services to be provided by Blade.
“Helijet and Blade are partnering to ensure our combined leadership in the early adoption of EVA on existing routes in British Columbia, as well as the new services Blade may launch in the future,” said Danny Sitnam, President of Helijet. “EVA technologies are going to change aviation in the same way that the jet engine revolutionized air travel 60 years ago. EVA will make urban air mobility more efficient, more sustainable, and more affordable. In Blade, we have found a unique partner that shares our commitment to customer service and experience, safety and innovation. Together, we are looking forward to a future that is literally just around the corner.”
Helijet explains, that while Blade is not acquiring any shares or ownership in Helijet, it will have the right to acquire up to 49 per cent of Helijet‘s wholly subsidiary, Pacific Heliport Services (PHS), which manages and operates heliport waterfront terminals in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo.
Blade’s investment in existing and future vertiport infrastructure provides Blade access to heliport passenger terminals controlled by PHS for future route expansion.
“This partnership is a perfect fit with Blade’s mission to eliminate travel friction around the world,” said Melissa Tomkiel, President of Blade. “Like Danny and the team at Helijet, we recognize EVA’s incredible potential. Together we are committed to making aviation more accessible, and our transition to lower-cost, quiet and emission-free EVA should only serve to increase the number of passengers that travel by air between Helijet and Blade locations and the value proposition to our fliers.”
Helijet explains it will continue to operate its current routes as usual, with Blade integrating its booking and sales technologies to achieve greater reach into Helijet’s existing and future route network. Together, Helijet and Blade are currently reviewing new routes to serve Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and other locations along the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia corridor. The two companies are also looking at how to advance their aircraft fleet, booking and sales systems, and flier experiences.
“For our customers, Helijet’s integration with Blade’s platform will be seamless over the coming months and will provide new booking technology features as part of Blade’s dynamic offerings,” said Sitnam.