The accomplished short distance, by-the-seat charter air mobility company BLADE recently reported major upticks in revenues during the year of 2021, signaling significant growth for the air mobility sector as eVTOLs become prevalent.
Image: BLADE Urban Air Mobility, which currently manages operations of helicopters, also mentioned future plans to work with BETA Technologies and their Alia eVTOL, which could include the eventual operation of a fleet of 20 of the aircraft.
BLADE highlighted many key areas of growth in their most recent financial disclosures. Firstly, the company reported overall revenue growth of 208%, bringing its total revenue for 2021 to $24.6 million versus $8.0 million in the previous comparable period. Noting another key growth spurt, the company also highlighted that its pre-pandemic revenue of $5.2 million grew by 371% to current revenue of $24.6 million.
While this massive growth is due to a number of factors, a likely key contributor is the rise in popularity of urban air mobility during the pandemic. More and more people with the means to do so are switching to private air travel rather than public. With this rise, personal air mobility as a concept is on the rise as well, meaning the world could start to see a transition to using air mobility services far more often as emerging eVTOLs (such as Beta Technologies’ Alia) makes these services more affordable.
In addition to expanding its urban transportation routes and maintaining its other business operations such as MediMobility organ transportation and private jet routes, departments of BLADE Urban Air Mobility are focused on working with their eVTOL partner Beta Technologies to accelerate flight testing, public awareness, and certification efforts for the four-passenger Alia eVTOL aircraft.
According to a recent press release from BLADE, the two companies are working together towards conducting a joint public flight test of the Alia aircraft in the greater New York area, possibly as soon as early Q2 of 2022. This demonstration flight will not only show the great progress that is being made by both BLADE and Beta, but is also meant to show the public the “near-silent” nature of this next-generation aircraft.
In addition, BLADE mentions that Beta Technologies has obtained a supplemental experiment type certificate from the FAA, which will enable them to double their flight testing capacity. BLADE also notes that the Alia aircraft has now been flying regularly between Plattsburgh, NY and the company’s base in Burlington, Vermont.
Why it’s important: With the massive surge in demand for the transportation needs provided by BLADE Urban Air Mobility, the company has been able to make an already-profitable set of offerings even more successful. By adding eVTOLs from Beta Technologies (which BLADE is working hard to accelerate), the company will be able to even further lower maintenance and operating costs on flights, allowing their offered services to become even more accessible and widespread.