Uber may be convenient, but New York’s Hamptons set doesn’t always have the time or patience to deal with the traffic getting out to their summer spots on Long Island’s East End. Blade, which calls itself “the first digitally driven short distance aviation company,” says it has a solution for those who want to get to East Hampton within the hour, or Southampton in 35 minutes: Ordering their own chartered aircraft via an app.
Booking a short flight used to require multiple phone calls, faxing your credit card, and a lot of headache. Granted you first needed to be able to afford it, but booking short-distance aviation was something only accessible to the 1% of the 1%. BLADE has taken the headache out of all of this and made short-distance aviation available to the masses. One can even make an argument that the lowest priced BLADE can give an Uber Black Car to-an-airport from Midtown Manhattan a run for their money with time and cost in mind.
While best known for being the largest helicopter and seaplane service provider in the New York area, BLADE has expanded its offerings to include regularly scheduled by-the-seat as well as charter turboprop and jet service.
Additionally, since inception, BLADE has grown its footprint of private lounges at airports, heliports and seaplane docks from our initial flagship Lounge in Manhattan.
The company now leases and controls two additional Lounges in Manhattan (including one marina based lounge for Seaplane arrivals), the first ever private aviation Lounge in Nantucket, as well as our largest Lounge yet, located at the Opa Locka Executive Airport in central Miami.
Kenneth Lerer, the Chairman of the company’s board of directors, said, “BLADE is now poised to become the leader in short distance aviation.
It owns a unique and powerful technology platform and is building a terrific brand. That combination creates great expansion potential for the company, which we are now beginning to see with additional routes and operator partnerships”.
Over the past year, BLADE has increased its serviced routes from three Hamptons destinations to 22 destinations in five states. Additionally, BLADE has increased the number of strategic aircraft operator relationships it has from one to twelve. This has grown BLADE’s accessible fleet to over sixty aircraft including single engine, twin-engine and cabin class helicopters, land planes and seaplanes, as well as heavy jets used for seasonal BLADEone jet service between Manhattan and Miami.
Blade is continuously improving their service. Last year they introduced new Blade Aqua 950. BA9 is simply the fastest seaplane in the Hamptons with a complete jet interior. Never before has a seaplane of this caliber been offered for by the seat purchase. BLADE Aqua’s 9-passenger amphibious seaplanes provide regular and crowdsourced service to East Hampton and The Pines of Fire Island. All flights originating or landing in Manhattan depart from the private BLADE Lounge at the East 23rd street Marina. If you are departing the Hamptons between 7-10 AM in the morning to Manhattan, seaplanes are often your best bet. The BLADE seaplanes are usually positioned overnight at East Hampton airport ahead of next day morning flights. Since pilots have greater flexibility when taking off in inclement weather, seaplane flights have a lesser chance of weather cancellations than helicopter flights during the morning—especially given how common fog is at that time. This is especially true in early June and late August when temps can be in the low 60’s.
Seaplanes also have greater flexibility for baggage.