BlackBird Places Order for 100 Bye Aerospace Electric Aircraft

The on-demand air service aims to make short hops by air more affordable for the traveling public.

Bye Aerospace eFlyer
BlackBird says it will offer electric-plane air travel in California to start.Courtesy Bye Aerospace

BlackBird, an online air charter broker that has visions of becoming an "Uber for the skies," has placed an order with Bye Aerospace for more than 100 electric airplanes that it says will one day make flying more affordable than driving for trips up to about 300 miles.

Bye Aerospace announced that BlackBird has agreed to purchase its first 100 four-seat eFlyer 4 electric airplanes and will also purchase 10 of Bye's eFlyer 2 planes. Norway's OSM Aviation ordered 60 of those models last month for its European flight school.

Price for the eFlyer 4 is $449,000 versus the two-seat trainer’s price of $349,000. BlackBird says it plans to offer flights aboard the electric-powered planes from a number of California airports, and possibly on the East Coast as well, where BlackBird currently offers charter flight bundles in the New York City area through its app.

According to its website, BlackBird is an air travel matchmaking service, connecting pilots and airplanes with paying passengers. According to a disclaimer on the site, “BlackBird Air Inc. is not a direct air carrier or air operator and does not provide air transportation. BlackBird Air Inc. is an online marketplace and may act as an agent when facilitating flights.”

It is unclear at this point whether BlackBird would operate the eFlyer fleet itself or contract with a third party, nor is it known where the seed money to launch this new stage of the business will come from.

We’re still likely a few years away from the eFlyer 4’s FAA certification. These details are likely to be made public well before the launch of BlackBird’s new commercial electric-powered air service.