Just in time for Sundance Film Festival, Blade, the “Uber for helicopters” startup, is offering a special service for its customers.
The startup, which raised $6 million at a $25 million valuation this summer, will fly users between Salt Lake City’s airports and Park City from this Thursday, January 21, through Monday, January 25 during Sundance.
This is done through BLADE Bounce, the company’s airport transfer helicopter service. The company will use helicopters from two local helicopter services in Utah.
The 15-minute flight costs $595 for an entire 6-seat helicopter, Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal tells Business Insider. Flights are available on-demand or scheduled in advance.
You can book a ride using the Blade app, which the company says has been downloaded more than 75,000 times.
Once users land in Park City, they will get all the amenities associated with Blade’s New York services: they will get complimentary car service and access to Blade’s lounge, where they can enjoy fireside cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Additionally, New Yorkers will be able to take a private Blade jet straight to Salt Lake City through Blade’s BLADEone service. BLADEone is a by-the-seat jet service, flying users directly from New York City to Salt Lake City International Airport.
CEO Rob Wiesenthal says services like Blade help with congestion and traffic at events like Sundance, and reduce pain points. With Blade, he says, you can control the end-to-end experience and not have to worry about being late to the airport.
Not to be outdone, Uber — which has partnered with Blade for promotions before — is working with Airbus to deliver helicopter rides of their own during Sundance, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Warner Music COO Rob Wiesenthal got the idea for Blade almost 3 years ago. He had been at Sony Entertainment for 13 years when he got the idea to bring a mobile app like Uber’s to the chopper industry. He partnered with Steve Martocci, the cofounder of the Skype-owned GroupMe and the music service Splice, to launch Blade Memorial Day weekend 2014.
Like Uber, Blade is an operator and logistics manager; it doesn’t own any aircraft. Martocci and Wiesenthal partnered with Liberty Helicopter and offered flights for New Yorkers to and from the Hamptons.
Blade has raised VC funding from Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Discover Communications CEO David Zaslav, IAC’s Barry Diller, Alex von Furstenberg, Raine Ventures, and iHeart Media chairman Bob Pittman. Both Pittman and Schmidt have licenses to fly helicopters and jets.