Airline Startup Aims to Make Flying the New Driving.

Blackbird an airline startup is disrupting the air travel business with affordable local flights, an Uber-like process and a focus on personalized experience.


Blackbird, a new, technology-driven airline delivering a private flight experience at a budget airline price, announces the launch of its initial service in California with flights beginning January 2017.  Blackbird will operate its first route from Palo Alto to Truckee, with flight prices starting at $125 per seat and no subscription or signup fees. The airline will offer flights Friday through Sunday, expanding to other days with customer demand.  Blackbird will add six additional routes throughout California, in 2017.

Blackbird was created to solve a gap in regional air travel, with customers having to choose from private jets charging thousands of dollars per flight, commercial flights that fly through an out of the way hub or the inconvenience of driving for several hours. Decades of airline consolidation have eliminated local commercial providers and their point-to-point flights.

“Over-consolidation of airlines and routes over the past decade have led to the alarming inefficiencies in our air travel system–once the envy of the world,” says Trey Bohn, Executive Director of Traveler’s Voice.  “Bold disruptions to the status quo are not only essential to providing travelers additional flight options that the major carriers now neglect, but are vital to moving the American economy forward in this new century.”

Blackbird is addressing the problem, starting with the heavily-trafficked route between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. There are eight million leisure and business trips annually between the two cities, a commute that can take four to eight hours each way.

Blackbird is unique in its blending of commercial airline benefits with the perks of private jets, the convenience of digital technology and prices for everyday consumers:

  • Blackbird’s proprietary logistics and demand software determines underserved routes, calculates pricing and manages flight logistics.
  • Blackbird has a set schedule with routes and flight times; travelers can quickly and easily book a seat through the mobile app, just like Uber.
  • The Blackbird app for iOS and Android enables customers to create a digital passport so they don’t have to re-enter data each time they want to fly, enabling a one touch purchase process.
  • Blackbird has partnered with leading independent charter operators that have the most experienced pilots and impeccable safety records. The charter industry is subject to the same, if not higher, safety standards as commercial carriers and is closely regulated by the FAA.
  • Blackbird helps charter companies generate more business by unlocking local demand –the industry has an average 45% unused capacity–while offering passengers the luxuries of flying private. Travelers can show up at a conveniently located airport 15 minutes before the flight where they are greeted by friendly Blackbird hosts, walk right on the plane and are airborne within minutes.

The commercial aviation industry has continually traded profit margin at the expense of their passengers’ comfort. Blackbird was designed to solve the terrible customer experience of flying commercial by delivering a personalized, hassle-free flying experience.

“In the charter industry we have been very successful at delivering a phenomenal experience to high-net worth individuals and corporate executives, and we’re excited to partner with Blackbird to bring that same level of service to a much wider audience,” says Jake Tomlin, President of Papillion Airways, one of the longest running independent airlines in the world.

“Everyone is a first-class passenger when flying with Blackbird,” says Rudd Davis, Founder and CEO of Blackbird. “We built the service and technology to provide the most delightful, human experience possible.  Everything we do is about reducing the friction we’ve all come to expect in air travel and finding ways to make the experience as simple and convenient as hailing an Uber.”

People can join the invite list and vote on the routes they’d like the airline to fly at the website:

amardeep kaushal

Blogger, Marketer & Data Analyst.

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