Fly Blade (India) Private Limited (“BLADE India”), a joint venture between Hunch Ventures and Blade Air Mobility, Inc., and Jaunt Air Mobility LLC (“Jaunt”), a subsidiary of AIRO Group Holdings, Inc. (“AIRO”), announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) aimed at launching electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft operations in India and the subcontinent region by 2027. The MOU includes BLADE India’s intended acquisition of 150 Jaunt Journey aircraft, with an option to order another 100 aircraft to meet the projected demand over the next decade.
As the 3rd largest aviation market in the world, India is undergoing a major transformation with a growing need for seamless and faster connectivity to connect passengers in urban areas. BLADE India is a leader in this effort, having established short haul mobility services in cities nationwide. Jaunt, a global aerospace company, has pioneered the all-electric Jaunt Journey, an aircraft that combines helicopter and fixed-wing flight capabilities, highlighting safety, low noise, and operational efficiencies. Jaunt is pursuing a Transport Category certification for its aircraft, equivalent to that of commercial airliners.
The companies expect to collaborate in specific areas that are critical to support future short-haul mobility operations. Their plans include, in particular, BLADE India working with Jaunt and its partners to explore development of key infrastructure capabilities in aircraft charging and energy distribution technologies. In turn, Jaunt intends to use BLADE India’s existing short haul operational and customer experience to support the development of the Jaunt Journey aircraft and its integration into the Indian airspace.
Speaking on the strategic partnership, Amit Dutta, Managing Director, BLADE India said, “With its vast expanse and increasing congestion, India is one of the biggest markets in the world for AAM solutions. With BLADE’s first mover advantage in nurturing the Urban Air Mobility ecosystem in India and Jaunt’s technical expertise, this partnership is well poised to pioneer the transition to electric and revolutionize the transportation system.”
“We are thrilled to partner with an exceptional BLADE India team to pursue the launch of a new form of urban air travel in India and the subcontinent region,” said Simon Briceno, Chief Commercial Officer for Jaunt. “Our collaboration with BLADE India and our clear path towards aircraft certification means that the Indian public will soon be able to benefit from the development of a new safe, affordable, and accessible mode of transportation.”
“Jaunt’s MOU with BLADE India demonstrates AIRO’s commitment to bringing innovative air mobility solutions to the people of India,” stated Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, Chairman and co-founder of AIRO.
Suren Ajjarapu, Chairman and CEO of Kernel Group Holdings, Inc., states, “The news of the MOU between BLADE India and AIRO’s Electric Air Mobility division provides a roadmap for integrating eVTOLs into the global transportation market.”