JetBlue has formed a partnership with Blade Urban Air Mobility to begin offering helicopter transfers between major airports and final destinations. At some point in the future, these routes will likely be served by eVTOL aircraft.
A Beta Technologies eVTOL with BLADE branding flying above New York City
BLADE has placed an order for 20 of Beta’s ‘Alia’ eVTOL aircraft.
In cities like New York, BLADE’s current helicopter airport transfer offerings mean replacing up to two hours of ground transportation with just a five-minute helicopter flight. In particular, Blade emphasizes airport transfers between JFK Airport and its upscale lounges in East and West Manhattan.
Members of JetBlue’s Mosaic+ program will now have access to (limited) complimentary seats on Blade Airport helicopter transfers when connecting to or from JetBlue flights. In addition, JetBlue flights will now be better synced with BLADE’s helicopter transfer schedules, meaning seamless air mobility travel for customers. BLADE will now also offer daily service between the BLADE Lounge in East Manhattan and JFK.
A BLADE helicopter landing at an NYC lounge after an airport transfer from John F. Kennedy International Airport
“Given its New York City roots JetBlue is an ideal partner as we have ramped up our Blade Airport service to six days a week and up to thirteen hours per day in New York City,” said Melissa Tomkiel, Blade’s President.
Chris Buckner, vice president of loyalty & partnerships, JetBlue, Commented: “We know the JetBlue journey starts long before our customers step aboard one of our flights, which is why we are making more of the entire travel experience even easier and even more rewarding. This partnership with Blade will help us further evolve and enhance our TrueBlue program so our most loyal customers can enjoy more perks more often.”
In recent years, BLADE has made clear intentions to eventually transition from traditional helicopters to eVTOL aircraft for its services. It currently offers both urban air mobility travel and regional mobility travel through helicopters and private fixed-wing aircraft, making eVTOL an excellent and economically better option for the company. Already, BLADE has announced partnerships with eVTOL manufacturers Beta Technologies and Embraer’s Eve for orders of up to 80 total aircraft.
An ‘Eve’ eVTOL from EmbraerX featuring BLADE branding.
BLADE has placed an order for 60 of Beta’s ‘Alia’ eVTOL aircraft.
Why it’s important: This partnership between BLADE and JetBlue represents the beginning of seamless air travel from airports to final destinations within large cities. As eVTOL companies begin to reach the market, expect to see more major airlines looking to create partnerships with aspiring eVTOL operators for better travel experiences that greatly reduce overall travel times. While the current partnership targets Mosaic+ Elite frequent travelers with JetBlue airlines, it’s likely the first in a series of future partnerships between other airlines and last mile mobility companies as the complete travel experience (door to door transport) is capitalized upon.
Source // BLADE Urban Air Mobility