Blade Air Mobility has made a deal worth 48 million euros with members of the Casiraghi family and John Elkann, a shareholder in Ferrari, to operate the shuttle service between the French Riviera, Monaco and Courcheval, according to a report in the Financial Times and other sources.
The deal means that three companies, Monacair, Héli Sécurité, and a third operator, thought to be Cannes-based Azur Hélicoptère, will continue to operate their own fleets but Blade Air will be their only client.
The company has already co-branded at least some of the helicopters and is advertising $220 one-way flights from Nice to Monaco for the upcoming Grad Prix.
According to Blade chief executive Rob Wiesenthal: “The whole business model behind Blade is to accumulate the best routes, infrastructure and customers in the world who are currently travelling by helicopter … and then provide those businesses with a seamless transition for electric vertical aircraft.”
He added that the operations that Blade is acquiring “over-performed” in the early part of this year despite the loss of Russian customers.
Monacair currently operates 50 daily flights between Nice Airport and Monaco. Héli Sécurité specialises in flights to and from St Tropez and the Swiss Alps.
Blade raised $365 million by going public last year, according to the FT.
A Blade-branded Monacair helicopter flies over Monte Carlo, courtesy Blade Air Mobility