Five Years Ago, It Cost $3,000 to Fly in a Helicopter; Today It Starts at $195–How Is This Possible?

There is a seismic economic shift occurring in aviation that few people are speaking about. The cost of a helicopter flight is a fraction of what it was just five years ago, but why is that?

Before diving into aviation and the aforementioned shift in accessibility and cost deflation, let’s look at an analogous business for context. Waze, a traffic app owned by Google, gathers driver data to alert others drivers about road conditions. For example, if there is traffic, Waze will identify that traffic pattern in a particular geographic boundary, then alert nearby drivers to consider other routes that avoid the traffic. Waze constantly gathers information from drivers, then optimizes routes to help other drivers. By pooling drivers’ data, all drivers end up getting to their destinations more efficiently.

This concept is known as crowdsourcing, or leveraging multiple people to improve the outcome for all. You may recognize similar models throughout the sharing economy with services like uberPOOL. These companies gather individual-generated inputs for more efficient outputs. BLADE is implementing this exact same strategy in urban air mobility through its crowdsourcing service.

When someone has a flight itinerary in mind but would like to split the cost with others, that flier can simply let BLADE know the time, origin, and destination. BLADE will then sell the unfilled seats on that aircraft to other interested fliers using data analytics that measure important signals for how and when flights can be crowdsourced. This popular option is reimagining the aviation landscape, and making charter flights more attainable and affordable than ever. Popular crowdsourced destinations include Nantucket, the Jersey Coast, Miami, Palm Springs, and the Hamptons.

BLADE crowdsourcing has shifted the vernacular and economics of chartering a plane or helicopter.