If you’ve got the funds, you could soon fly across Mumbai traffic. By Gayatri Moodliar.
The amount of congestion in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi has reached such an alarming level that it’s negatively impacting the economy of both; a BCG study found that India loses up to $22 billion annually due to traffic congestion.
To ease traffic concerns and shorten commutes from major hubs, American aviation group Fly Blade, Inc. has joined hands with Hunch Ventures to form Blade India.
Launching in March of this year, the joint venture will be connecting major hubs via helicopters, the first route of which bring together Mumbai with Pune and Shirdi, though more intra- and inter-city routes are being formulated.
The first Blade Lounges will be located at strategic urban points Juhu and Mahalaxmi, and will do away with the hassle of commuting via road and the usual scurry at the airport.
“Given the challenges of building transportation infrastructure in our country, we will utilise India’s existing network of heliports to launch a UAM solution immediately,” said Karanpal Singh, founder of Hunch.
Though these electric vertical take-off and landing programmes do theoretically seem appealing, one has to keep in mind the fact that the development of these heliports, and the process of making buildings appropriate for the purpose, is still an ongoing one.
Designed to cut journeys that would normally take over 2-4 hours to less than 40 minutes, you can expect the price to be on the higher end of the scale.