Wheels Up, Delta Air Lines close on the acquisition of Delta Private Jets

By Doug Gollan, January 29, 2020

Wheels Up members will be able to attain Delta Air Lines’ elite status

Delta Private Jets members get a complimentary Wheels Up membership valued at $17,500

The deal to merge Delta Private Jets (DPJ) with Wheels Up is sealed. The closing officially combines DPJ with Wheels Up.

The combination creates one of the world’s largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft, around 190 airplanes from the King Air 350i to large-cabin jets.

In a press release, Wheels Up said, “With this expanded private fleet and access to Delta’s global network, Wheels Up said it is strategically positioned to fulfill every travel need of its now 8,000+ members and customers.”

In the weeks ahead, Wheels Up and Delta will be communicating directly with customers to roll out partnership benefits and other program features.

Medallion Status for Wheels Up members

For example, Wheels Up Members will be eligible to earn Delta Medallion Status, accrue miles in Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty program, and use their Wheels Up Fund program balances to pay for Wheels Up private and Delta commercial flights.

DPJ customers will receive a complimentary Wheels Up Core Membership (normally a $17,500 standard initiation fee), which they can use alongside their Delta Private Jets Card Membership for the length of their current jet card term or until funds are depleted.

DPJ said, “Having access to your current Delta Private Jets Card and a Wheels Up Membership at no additional cost gives you ultimate flexibility and countless options from the very best in private aviation.”

“Together, Wheels Up and Delta will democratize the industry to make private flying and the private flying lifestyle accessible to significantly more individuals and businesses around the world,” said Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter.

He added, “By adding Delta Private Jets and partnering with Delta, our membership platform has evolved to one that can fulfill a vast range of flight needs on a very large scale.”

As part of this transaction Delta’s Chief Operating Officer, Gil West has joined the Wheels Up Board of Directors.

“This innovative partnership is the latest step in Delta’s efforts to transform travel into a part of the journey to look forward to,” West said.

He added, “Bringing together the Delta brand, DPJ’s renowned reliability, and scale, and the exceptional experiences that are the hallmark of Wheels Up is opening up a whole new world of travel options to more travelers than ever before.”

DPJ employees will continue to operate out of their current location in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the talented and passionate Delta Private Jets employees into the Wheels Up family and for Gil West to join our Board of Directors,” said Dichter.

Over the next year, Wheels Up and Delta will continue introducing exciting cross-platform benefits and features, all designed to add more value for their members and customers.

Financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed, and there is no expected impact on Delta’s 2020 financial guidance.

During 2019 Wheels Up also purchased TMC Jets and Avianis, a B2B platform.


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