Blade Urban Air Mobility is to expand the operating footprint for its organ transportation business. With the addition of 14 transplant centres and Organ Procurement Organisations (OPOs) during 2022, Blade's MediMobility division now serves more than 40 hospital clients across 20 US states.
Blade MediMobility COO Scott Wunsch says: "Our expanded footprint provides immediate benefits for all of the transplant centres and OPOs we serve. By leveraging the growing buying power of both Blade's individual consumer fliers and hospital clients, we have secured dedicated access to more aircraft in more locations at very favourable rates. Additionally, we can now offer standby access to aircraft in new geographies, enabling unprecedented flexibility to pursue organs that might otherwise go unused. This is a significant value add to our clients, especially given tight availability of certain types of charter aircraft currently."
Following the acquisition of organ air transport operator Trinity Air Medical in September 2021, Blade MediMobility became the largest point-to-point organ transplant transport service in the US. The group partners with local hospitals to provide cost-effective, rapid movement of organs and transplant teams to improve patient outcomes. Through its partnership with New York medical centre NYU Langone Health for example, which estimates the cost of using a commercial helicopter to be one quarter that of using a medevac helicopter, it can reduce travel times to common donor hospitals by up to three hours.
"Our integrated, multimodal offering enables transplant programmes to reduce organ transport time and cost, resulting in improved patient and programme outcomes," adds Blade CFO Will Heyburn. "Blade's last-mile offering, currently serviced by captive helicopters and ambulances, continues to expand with these new hospital additions. We are leveraging our unmatched scale in critical last-mile delivery to push towards a transition to drones and electric vertical aircraft or EVA, enabling further reduced transport time and cost.
“Given the existing on-site landing pad infrastructure at most of our client hospitals as well as our EVA manufacturer partnerships, we believe our MediMobility division is well positioned to utilise these new aircraft as soon as they are available for commercial use, reducing our hospital partners' need for intermodal ground transport.”