Fly Blade, Inc., a NYC-based digitally powered short-distance aviation company, raised $38m in Series B funding.
The round was led by Colony NorthStar and Lerer Hippeau with participation from Airbus Helicopters and LionTree Ventures.
The company will use the proceeds from the financing to expand the depth of schedule for its core routes, accelerate the rollout of new markets, and to continue to fortify the BLADE brand.
Co-founded by CEO Rob Wiesenthal and Steve Martocci, Fly Blade is a digitally powered short-distance aviation company which services 22 core routes in 7 states. Key routes include the New York City area, Eastern Long Island, the New Jersey Coast, Connecticut, the Cape (Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard), Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Orange County.
Additionally, the company is now in its third year offering seasonal scheduled jet service between New York and Miami, Florida. The BLADEone jet service, which utilizes a 16 person jet (retrofitted from 65-passenger commercial use), is harmonized with helicopter flights to enable passengers to depart from or arrive directly in Manhattan rather than an area airport.
Blade neither owns nor operates aircraft and its fleet include aircraft from 29 operators across the U.S. In addition to single engine, twin-engine, and cabin class helicopters, Blade also utilizes amphibious seaplanes, turboprops, and jet aircraft for certain routes.
Concurrent with the financing, the company entered an alliance with Airbus Helicopters to provide customer and helicopter operator technology solutions and on-the-ground customer experience management for the Airbus Ride helicopter service in the Dallas market.
Airbus Ride has operated for two years and will be co-branded with Blade. Additionally, Blade and Airbus will jointly explore launching an intra-city helicopter service in an international market to be determined this year.
This jointly owned service will be BLADE’s first new market launch overseas.