Blade Air Mobility and RedBird Capital Partners announced last week that RedBird has increased its ownership in Blade to more than 5%. Further, the announcement comes as RedBird also announces that partner Andrew Lauck will become a board observer.
RedBird’s has been invested in Blade since 2016, and collectively the RedBird and Blade teams have closely collaborated during the development and growth process of each firm.
Blade’s core operations – last mile air mobility, jet charter, and organ transplant flights – overlap with RedBird’s existing aviation portfolio, and both companies expect to be leading supporters of aviation’s eventual transition towards Electric Vertical Aircraft technology.
RedBird and Blade also plan to work together across RedBird’s portfolio to accelerate Blade’s growth objectives. RedBird’s global sports and media properties provide a natural complement to Blade’s urban air mobility solutions; the partnership could lead to establishment of an organized transportation network similar to Qatar Airway’s increased schedule frequency during the World Cup transporting fans to sporting venues en masse.
“Gerry has developed some of the most exciting platforms in aviation, sports and entertainment and the strengthening of our partnership with RedBird will allow us to supercharge our offerings to Blade fliers in the U.S and Europe,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Blade’s CEO. “The partnership will also allow us to build our fast-growing organ transplant flight business and source acquisitions that can benefit from our global brand, infrastructure and tech platform – ultimately accelerating our timeline to achieving profitability while enhancing our growth trajectory.”
“Blade is an integral part of our broader aviation investment strategy which looks to benefit from current aviation market growth as well as future disruption from the transition of helicopters to Electric Vertical Aircraft,” said Gerry Cardinale, RedBird Founder and Managing Partner.
Why it’s important: The increased investment in BLADE Aerial Mobility by Redbird allows the companies to collaborate and leverage one another’s expertise, while setting the stage for future use cases for aerial mobility aircraft and further strengthening BLADE’s balance sheet. The long time collaboration by CEOs of each company should also help the integration period as Lauck observes Board proceedings and likely holds discussions on preference for future company plans.