• Kate Sarsfield

Blade readies for Indian service launch

US private aircraft online booking and ride-sharing marketplace Blade is preparing to launch operations in Western India in April, marking its first move into the international market.


US private aircraft online booking and ride-sharing marketplace Blade is preparing to launch operations in Western India in April, marking its first move into the international market.


The company is setting up a local subsidiary, Blade India – which, like its US sister, will give the public the means to book rides with approved independent operators, providing a payment mechanism, marketing, a brand and much of the ground infrastructure.


Blade founder and chief executive Rob Wiesenthal describes the Indian market as “very compelling”, with “stratospheric economic growth” and “one of the largest consumer bases in the world”.


He says the country’s transportation infrastructure has not kept pace with its economic growth. “When we look at new routes we look at multiple factors, such as drive time versus fly time – the idea that we can convert a 6h drive into a 35min flight is unprecedented, in terms of our vision.”


The partnership, with Hunch Ventures, gives Blade a great opportunity to explore a new market, leveraging its expertise and portfolio of high-end companies, which includes India's largest luxury travel agency Quintessentially and TV network Good Time, he says.



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