BLADE Urban Air Mobility announced today that it entered into an alliance with Vertiport Chicago. In December of 2020, Experience Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: EXPC) agreed to merge with Blade, which will create, following the closing of the merger, the only publicly traded urban air mobility platform in the United States.
As part of the alliance, Blade partner Helicopters, Inc. will station rotorcraft at the Vertiport to fly Blade passengers on routes which are expected to include flights between the Vertiport and O’Hare Airport, Lake Geneva and other lake communities, as well as Notre Dame, University of Illinois and other universities for sporting events. Vertiport Chicago is conveniently located near the Downtown Loop and is the city’s only vertiport.
Blade will have the exclusive right to offer passenger flights sold by-the-seat at the Vertiport, which will be rebranded “Vertiport Chicago Powered by Blade.” The Company will also have the right to build a branded terminal onsite to accommodate the processing of passengers when flight volume necessitates it to maintain the level of customer experience the Company is known for.
Additionally, Blade expects to service Chicago hospitals for its growing MediMobility business which currently flies more human organ transport missions in the Northeast than any other company.
“Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It is the right time for us to establish a strategic presence in this important market.”, said Melissa Tomkiel, President of Blade.
Ms. Tomkiel added, “There are a number of passenger routes where we see real potential, and we look forward to enabling local hospitals to take advantage of Blade’s cost-effective MediMobility human organ air transport business.”
The company will also work closely with the Vertiport to ensure that it has the necessary infrastructure to support the transition to next-generation Electric Vertical Aircraft (“EVA”).
“The build out of infrastructure for next generation vertical air travel in Chicago is beginning now. Our alliance with Blade will only serve to accelerate our ability to help create the network of landing zones our city needs to be competitive in the future,” said Daniel Mojica of Vertiport Chicago.
Why it matters: Blade partnering with Vertiport Chicago and MediMobility ushers in another geographical market ripe for disruption by UAM services. Building on existing operations in New York, Los Angeles, and south Florida, Blade brings key expertise of flight operations in urban environments. As these key partnerships are forged and infrastructure built, Blade is well positioned to usher in the next era of transportation.