Forum Gandhi | Mumbai, June 8 |
Company to expand presence into leisure, business, pilgrim travel, ambulance and rescue services
Urban air mobility company BLADE India plans to double its operational fleet from 16 helicopters, add new destinations and expand its presence into leisure, business, pilgrim travel as well as medical ambulance segments, said a top official.
Speaking to BusinessLine, Karanpal Singh, co-founder of BLADE India, said that in the past two years, despite Covid-19, the company stayed afloat by pivoting to charter rides and medical ambulance services.
‘Per unit profitable’
When asked about the company’s plans to break even, he said that the company is “per unit profitable.” However, the company is in its, “expansion stage at the moment” rather than focusing on overall profitability.
BLADE India recently announced, in the presence of the Goa CM, that it plans to launch its services that connect Goa airport to North and South Goa, as well as Old Goa airport. The services will formally be launched in August.
BLADE India also operates in Karnataka— one can hop on to a chopper in Bengaluru for a ride over Hampi, Coorg and Kabini. In Maharashtra, one can fly between Mumbai, Pune, Amby Valley and the temple town of Shirdi.
Singh said that BLADE India plans to introduce BLADE bounce services within Bengaluru itself in the next few months. “It is often noted that it takes a lot of time from Bengaluru airport to get to the city, and it is equally expensive as well. It is our plan to start our ‘Bounce’ services which takes passengers from the airport to designated places in the city.”
Rescue, ambulance services for the North East
Within the next year, it is the company’s plan to also start leisure, calamity-driven as well as medical ambulence services in the North-Eastern region.
“We’ve often heard that quick medical attention doesn’t reach the people stuck in interiors of North East. In times of a natural calamity, too, people are left stranded due to blocked or flooded roads. Our aim is to be able to solve that problem,” he said.
Apart from that, Singh also sees good potential in the leisure segment in the North East as well. He further added that there were at least two more destinations wherein BLADE India plans to start services to and fro, however, he could not divulge details at this point of time.
Currently, BLADE India operates with 16 helicopters with short-term and mid-term leases. “Within the next year, it is our plan to be able to double our fleet size.”