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Blade brandishes encouraging fiscal figures
As electric vertical aircraft become certified for commercial use, Blade says that the value of its urban air mobility platform will continue to grow. EVA manufacturers are progressing towards FAA certification.

Blade Urban Air Mobility, a US technology-powered air mobility business that recently announced it would become a public company via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Experience Investment, has released financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended 31 December 2020.

“Our focused pursuit of new service and market expansion opportunities will enable us to fly a greater number of passengers between our private terminals in the US and abroad, while maintaining profitable unit economics using current aviation technology,” comments CEO Rob Wiesenthal. “As electric vertical aircraft (EVA) become certified for commercial use, the value of our urban air mobility platform will continue to grow. We are also pleased with the progress EVA manufacturers are making towards FAA certification, which is required for commercial service.

“With nearly 100 different EVAs currently in the design and certification process, our asset-light model provides us with the flexibility to choose the right aircraft for each of our routes so Blade fliers can enjoy safe, cost effective, quiet and zero emission air mobility across our network as these next-generation aircraft become available.”

Blade has announced: an earlier than expected spring timeline for the re-launch of its $195 per seat New York City airport transfer product and the start of service between the Westchester/Connecticut area and both Manhattan and John F. Kennedy airport; a strategic alliance with Ross Aviation will enable improved unit economics and flier experience on new Westchester routes including Manhattan and John F. Kennedy airport; Blade is actively working with Ross Aviation to plan for the construction of a dedicated EVA vertiport, including charging infrastructure, in Westchester; it has entered into an alliance with Vertiport Chicago (to be rebranded Vertiport Chicago powered by Blade) will enable further growth of Blade's MediMobility organ transportation business as well as new passenger routes around the third largest city in the US; the Blade India joint venture re-launched its service between Mumbai and Pune in November 2020 with nearly 700 seats flown in the three months through January 2021 and 64 per cent of fliers taking more than one trip in the period; the business combination with Experience Investment Corp. is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2021.

First fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2020 financial highlights include: first fiscal quarter 2021 total revenues increased 53% versus the prior-year period to $8.0 million, despite the lack of contribution from Blade's short-distance by-the-seat airport service, which remained paused in the first fiscal quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic; MediMobility organ transport and jet revenues grew 176 per cent year-over-year as Blade added new customers, including additional hospital partners; short-distance revenues declined 31 per cent year-over-year, reflecting the impact of airport and west coast short-distance services, which were paused in the first fiscal quarter 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by growth in Blade's northeast commuter business; hybrid remote/office work patterns drove increased demand for Blade's northeast commuter services, with Blade offering daily round-trip services in the first fiscal quarter 2021 versus one round-trip per week in the prior-year period. This wider distribution of its schedule, in contrast to the typical weekend-focused compacted demand, resulted in increased flexibility for both our passengers and operators; and EBITDA improved $2.4 million year-over-year to ($2.2) million, and adjusted EBITDA improved $3.6 million year-over-year to $(1.0) million, driven by increased revenues and the company's cost savings plan, implemented in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite an unprecedented pause in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our first fiscal quarter 2021 revenues increased 53 per cent versus the prior-year period while the company exceeded trailing twelve months ended December 2020 projections for revenue with adjusted EBITDA in-line,” comments CFO and head of corporate development Will Heyburn. “We are pleased with our business performance in year-to date 2021 and are excited to move up the re-launch of our by-the-seat airport product to this Spring, in addition to launching new services between the Westchester/Connecticut area and both Manhattan and John F. Kennedy airport.”

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