Wheels Up's colorful King Air fleet is for a good cause

By Doug Gollan, October 22, 2020

Wheels Up Cares’ King Air 350is are spicing up the tarmacs at private aviation airports and bringing awareness to some very good causes

For folks who love airplanes as well as flying privately, it’s always fun to see some of the unique exteriors.

Of course, just like birders, it’s the rare breeds that cause the most excitement. Frankly, most private jets have white exteriors with minimalist gray, brown, or beige cheat lines.

Wheels Up, since launching in 2013, has always taken a different approach, starting with its focus on the King Air 350i and distinctive blue livery. Since then, its Wheels Up Cares fleet has put an end to the plain plane, to borrow the tagline from Braniff International.

Seven years later, Wheels Up is the second-largest provider of for-hire private aircraft. Its program fleet includes aircraft of all cabin categories. However, it’s the King Air that serves as the canvas for its colorful exteriors, all for a good cause.

Recently it introduced it continued its partnership with Textron Aviation by introducing a Feeding America orange livery. To have a little fun, we take a Private Jet Card Comparisons’ look at the Wheels Up liveries, including the Wheels Up Cares fleet.

Wheels Up Blue King Air 350i

Launched 2013

The Wheels Up Blue livery on its King Air 350i fleet and its Citation Excel/XLS and Xs has become common at private jet airports across the country.

Wheels Up blue livery King Air 350i
Wheels Up Blue standard King Air 350i livery

Fans of ESPN College GameDay also recognize the distinctive aircraft that bring the pregame show’s celebrity guest to its location, which rotates weekly. It also underscores the King Air’s ability to fly up to eight passengers into smaller airports efficiently.

Pink King Air 350i

Launched 2015

The 45th aircraft in the Wheels Up fleet, its Pink King Air 350i raises awareness for the Dubin Breast Center of the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai in New York City. The facility is one of the world’s most renowned and advanced breast cancer treatment and research facilities.

Wheels Up Pink King Air 350i
Wheels Up Pink King Air 350i

It provides a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to breast cancer screening, treatment, and survivorship. The 15,000-square-foot facility houses a full range of services, including cancer screening and biopsies, cancer treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, wellness, patient and family support services, education, genetic counseling and testing, oncofertility services, access to clinical trials, and survivorship support. Patients receive highly personalized, multidisciplinary care in a calming, private, and supportive setting. The hashtag is #WheelsUpGoesPink.

Teal King Air 350i

Launched 2016

In September 2016, Wheels Up added a teal Beechcraft King Air 350i highlighting the Janet Burros Memorial Foundation to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The inspiration for the Teal Plane comes from Janet’s children, Wheels Up members Chet Burros, and Mara and Ricky Sandler, who advocate in her honor as trustees of the Foundation.

Wheels Up Teal King Air 350i
Wheels Up Teal King Air 350i

The Teal Plane made its inaugural flight to the 19th Ovarian Cancer National Conference in Washington, D.C., with ovarian cancer survivor and advocate Sherry Pollex. Pollex and her boyfriend, NASCAR racer Martin Truex, Jr., are partners of Wheels Up in this endeavor.

Red Heart King Air 350i

Launched 2018

To recognize February’s American Heart Month in 2018, Wheels Up rolled out a unique red livery King Air supporting the American Heart Association’s Life Is Why We Give fundraising campaign and Simon’s Heart, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the warning signs and conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in kids.

Wheels Up Red King Air 350i
Wheels Up Red King Air 350i

The American Heart Association is working to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to live their best life. Darren and Phyllis Sudman founded Simon’s Heart in memory of their three-month-old son, Simon. He died suddenly from an undetected heart condition while taking a nap. Simon’s Heart raises awareness about the warning signs and conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in children. In its effort to prevent sudden death, it has provided free heart screenings to over 15,000 students

Camouflage King Air 350i

Launched 2019

Wheels Up Camouflage Plane honors those in the military who bravely served and continue to serve our country while benefiting the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a non-profit organization that offers compassionate care to those grieving the loss of a military loved one. 

Wheels Up Cares Camouflage King Air 350i
Wheels Up Cares Camouflage King Air 350i

Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones. TAPS has assisted more than 90,000 loved ones grieving a military hero’s death and continues to receive an average of 19 new survivors every day.

Orange King Air 350i

Launched 2020

The Wheels Up Orange Plane is a flying symbol to raise awareness for food insecurity and Feeding America. It salutes the frontline workers at the 200 member food banks across the nation. More than 50 million people could face hunger in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wheels Up Orange King Air 350i
Wheels Up Orange King Air 350i

Contributions have already enabled Feeding America to deliver over 50 million meals to those in need. The effort was launched with participation from Wheels Up ambassadors and friends. Supporters included Russell Wilson, Ciara, Tom Brady, JJ Watt, Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, and Joey Logano.

Private Jet Card Comparisons was able to support over 100,000 meals earlier this year. We donated $75 from subscribers’ $250 subscription. More recently, we were able to assist in the delivery of 10,000 more meals. The donation was a thank you to subscribers who responded to our Private Jet Fall Travel Outlook survey.


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