NEW YORK, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The fastest way to travel between Manhattan and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport just became even easier for Delta (NYSE: DAL) customers. Delta will enable a fully integrated, streamlined airport transfer experience through an exclusive partnership with BLADE, a digitally powered aviation company that arranges on-demand helicopter service between its Manhattan heliport lounges and JFK.
Delta is New York's largest carrier and has invested more than $2 billion in New York City's airports, leading the way in improving the traveler experience for an ever-growing number of New York passengers. Delta opened a $1.2 billion Terminal 4 at JFK in 2013; another $200 million investment in 2015 added 11 gates and 75,000 square feet in Terminal 4 along with a renovated check-in hall and concourse holdrooms at Terminal 2. The airline offers more than 500 peak-day departures to more than 130 destinations worldwide from its hubs at New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports.
"Our customers value speed and reliability, and so do we. We're proud to be the only airline facilitating an on-demand helicopter transfer that is curated specifically for Delta customers and in line with the enhanced premium amenities and services they have come to expect from our brand," said Tim Mapes, Delta's Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "Partnering with BLADE in the New York City market — home to and destination for many of our most discerning travelers — highlights Delta's commitment to enhancing every aspect and detail of the travel experience, including getting to and from the airport."
Delta's JFK customers can book an expedited, seamless experience that begins and ends at one of BLADE's three Manhattan heliport lounges where they may relax in a full-service lounge prior to their five-minute flight. Upon touchdown, a member of Delta's Elite Services team will welcome the customer, collect baggage and personally escort them from the helicopter via awaiting ground transportation to the departure terminal, expediting security clearance as they head to their departing aircraft. When it's time for the Delta flight, the customer is escorted to their seat on board. Bookings are available via the BLADE app.
Delta customers arriving into JFK, including those on transcontinental service from Los Angeles and San Francisco and trans-Atlantic flights from London, can also enjoy a seamless helicopter transfer experience. Delta's Elite Services will meet customers on the jet bridge as they disembark a Delta flight or immediately after they clear customs, reclaim baggage and whisk them directly to the door of a waiting helicopter for the five-minute flight to Manhattan.
"With Delta, BLADE has found a partner that shares the same customer-centric focus to provide a truly unrivaled travel experience," said BLADE Founder and CEO Rob Wiesenthal. "The integration of BLADE airport transfers into Delta's core offerings will enable us to remove much of the friction faced by many frequent travelers: the challenge of quickly transferring between Manhattan and JFK."
The BLADE partnership is just one of many enhancements Delta is making to offer an innovative customer experience. It's part of a multi-billion-dollar investment that includes a cabin modernization program featuring new seats, seatback entertainment systems with free entertainment, and high-capacity overhead bins; access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights; complimentary meals in the Main Cabin on select flights; upgraded free Main Cabin snacks; chef-curated meals in Delta One; a seasonal wine program; an Alessi-designed collection of service products and tableware; and more.
On the ground, Delta plans to add nearly 250 new aircraft to its fleet in coming years. The airline has also opened new Delta Sky Club locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Seattle, and renovated Clubs in Nashville, Dallas, Newark, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Meanwhile, Delta is investing in airport enhancement programs in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Salt Lake City, and testing and implementation of an enhanced boarding process in Atlanta.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2016, Delta was named to Fortune's top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the fifth time in six years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented six consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 323 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub, Google.com/+Delta, and Facebook.com/delta.
BLADE, the digitally powered short-distance aviation company, leverages mobile technology and an on-the-ground customer experience network to enable travelers to enjoy enhanced yet cost-effective air travel. BLADE's accessible fleet includes more than 60 aircraft, including single-engine, twin-engine and cabin class helicopters; land planes and seaplanes; and heavy jets used for seasonal jet service between Manhattan and Miami. Over the past year, BLADE has increased its serviced routes from three Hamptons destinations to 22 destinations in five states (including Nantucket and the Jersey Coast). BLADE is also the largest arranger of helicopter flights between Manhattan and all area airports. BLADE's network of affiliated operators enables users to book a helicopter and depart within 20 minutes of booking. The four- to six-minute flight typically saves between one and two hours of driving time between Manhattan and most area airports. All BLADE flights are operated by FAA-certified and DOT-licensed air carriers.
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SOURCE Delta Air Lines