Blade and Eve pilot air traffic management in India

  • October 11, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

New York-based Blade has ordered 200 of Eve Air Mobility’s vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles for a three-month pilot project in India connecting passengers.

FlyBlade India, a joint venture between Hunch Ventures and Blade Air Mobility, announced the partnership with Embraer’s Brazilian subsidiary Eve Air Mobility that includes Eve’s UATM urban air traffic management software and a pilot project connecting passengers using helicopters.

India is a unique market with its vast expanse, accessibility concerns, traffic congestion and regulations. As a provider of short-haul air mobility services in India, FlyBlade will act as Eve’s on-ground knowledge partner to create an urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem.

The data collected through FlyBlade’s customer experience and operations will be used to develop Eve’s eVTOL, service and support, and its UATM software. FlyBlade will initially underwrite 50,000 hours of flight time per year using Eve’s eVTOL in the country.

“India’s traffic congestion woes are only expected to get worse,” said Amit Dutta, managing director of FlyBlade. “This partnership allows us to leverage Eve’s deep expertise in not just EVA design but also in the infrastructure required to support UAM.”

André Stein, co-CEO of Eve, added: “We are thrilled about partnering with Blade India and pioneering the urban air mobility market in the country, which has the potential to be one of the largest markets globally. This initial order will allow us to enter into service in India and further develop the ecosystem according to the community’s needs. We look forward to offering the people of India zero-emission UAM in the future that will be quiet, efficient and accessible.”

The emergence of electric aviation with eVTOL vehicles is expected to reduce the carbon footprint, noise and cost of flying, making it more accessible to the masses.

Blade is a technology-powered UAM platform for reducing travel friction by providing cost-effective air transportation alternatives to some of the most congested ground routes in the USA and abroad. The company predominantly uses helicopters and amphibious aircraft and is one of the largest air medical transporters of human organs for transplant in the world. Its asset-light model, coupled with its exclusive passenger terminal infrastructure, is designed to facilitate a seamless transition to electric vertical aircraft (EVA), enabling lower cost air mobility to the public that is both quiet and zero emissions.

Blade India (FlyBlade) began in 2019 and offers cost-effective air transportation alternatives to some of the most congested ground routes in India with flights from Mumbai, Shirdi, Pune and Bangalore. Hunch Ventures is a privately held investment firm based out of New Delhi, and has invested in a range of sectors including education, healthcare, immersive media, hospitality, food and beverage, and logistics.

Benefitting from a start-up mindset, backed by Embraer’s more than 50-year history of aerospace expertise, Eve is taking a holistic approach to progressing the UAM ecosystem, with an eVTOL project, global services and support network, and an air traffic management offering.