Female passenger exiting Blade helicopter with assistance from the pilot
Blade Air Mobility is acquiring the commercial activities of three leading helicopter operators in Europe in an effort toward becoming the largest helicopter passenger service in the region. (Photo: Blade)

Blade Expands In Europe

Helicopter service began in advance of the Monaco Grand Prix with seven-minute flights between Nice and Monte Carlo for $220 a seat.

Blade Air Mobility is working to create the largest helicopter passenger service in Europe. Through its subsidiaries on the Continent, Blade has agreed to acquire the commercial passenger transport activities of European helicopter operators Monacair SAM, Héli Sécurité, and another as-yet-unnamed operator in the south of France for $50 million. The transaction is expected to close this summer. 

These carriers collectively carried 125,000 passengers in 2019 and had aggregate revenues of $32.2 million. Their 2022 revenues through April are 30 percent ahead of the same period in 2019. 

Under the agreement, Blade will become the exclusive customer of the carriers and will purchase their commercial activities. The carriers will continue to own and operate their fleets only for Blade’s scheduled by-the-seat and charter service in the south of France, Monaco, Switzerland, and Italy while together working with Blade toward the transition to eVTOL aircraft in the region. Blade will also develop branded passenger terminals at more than 10 airports and vertiports that these carriers utilize in France, Monaco, and Switzerland. 

Blade service began in advance of the Monaco Grand Prix on May 29 with seven-minute flights between Nice, France, and Monte Carlo, Monaco, available for purchase on the Blade app for $220 per seat.

“These three acquisitions are core to our strategy of leveraging our asset-light model to aggregate the premier use cases for urban air mobility. As a result, Blade has now amassed what we believe to be the most valuable routes in the world. Adding this formidable presence in Europe to our existing operations across the greater New York area, Vancouver [Canada], and India, is a critical step in our expansion,” said Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal.