Chartering a private jet could no longer be a luxury reserved for the super rich.
The firm says the fresh cash injection will help it make flying ‘as convenient, accessible, and affordable as driving.’
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BlackBird, a startup that’s been referred to as the ‘Uber for planes,’ announced Tuesday it secured $10 million in funding from venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates
WHAT IS BLACKBIRD?
BlackBird, founded in 2016, has been referred to as the ‘Uber of the skies.’
Users download the BlackBird app for the iPhone or iPad.
Then, they can enter a destination, pick a plane model or trip type and then select a commercial pilot from the company’s list of verified pilots.
After that, the app will instruct the user to meet their plane and pilot at a local airport.
Prices vary depending on the flight type and destination.
BlackBird flies passengers between 50 and 500 miles away.
BlackBird, founded in 2016, works by linking users with private planes and commercial pilots.
The company can fly passengers to destinations that are between 50 and 500 miles away.
The app also gives users several different options to choose from.
Hitch functions like a ‘carpool of the skies,’ letting users hop on a plane with other passengers headed in the same direction.
Passengers can split the flight cost, making it the ‘lowest cost option’ for BlackBird users, the firm said.
Charter, meanwhile, is more expensive allows users to rent out a private plane whenever they need one.
The basic option, Reserve, lets users book a BlackBird plane on a pre-scheduled flight.
Prices vary depending on the destination and the type of flight plan you choose.
BlackBird, founded in 2016, works by linking users with private planes and commercial pilots. The company can fly passengers to destinations that are between 50 and 500 miles away
For example, prices for a flight from Oakland, California to Las Vegas, Nevada run between $99 to join a reserved flight and $1,100 for a privately chartered flight, according to Forbes.
Jonathan Golden, a former Airbnb director who has joined the BlackBird board, told Forbes that BlackBird’s vision is akin to Uber or Lyft.
When Uber and Lyft first started out, many were skeptical of ride-hailing services, but now that it’s been several years since their inception, people are much more comfortable booking a private vehicle through an app.
Similarly, Golden believes booking an affordable private jet will become more commonplace over time, Forbes reported.
BlackBird expects to use the $10 million investment to help it continue to scale.
The company currently counts over 100,000 monthly active users, as well as roughly 2,500 pilots registered with the service.
Additionally, the firm said Tuesday it hired Brian Hsu, formerly vice president of supply at Lyft, as its new chief operating officer.
BlackBird expects to use the $10 million investment to help it scale. The firm currently counts over 100,000 monthly active users, as well as roughly 2,500 pilots registered with the service
BlackBird CEO Rudd Davis said the company is working to make ‘air travel more accessible for all.’
‘Between scooters, bikes, and cars, on-demand transportation has dominated the headlines in the 21st century, but the infrastructure is missing a key component: air travel,’ Davis explained.
‘…Our marketplace gives people the freedom to travel between 50 and 500 miles for less time and money than driving.
‘With this investment, BlackBird will be able to bring more pilots, planes, and people onboard in 2019,’ he added.