Co-founder Firestone retires from Wheels Up

Justin Firestone, a key executive alongside Kenny Dichter at Marquis Jet before launching Wheels Up will retire at the end of February.

By Doug Gollan, February 6, 2024

Co-founder Justin Firestone is retiring from Wheels Up at the end of February.

In a text message to customers yesterday and a LinkedIn post this morning, he wrote, “So much has changed in our world and in our industry since we started Wheels Up in 2013, but what hasn’t changed is our relentless pursuit to deliver a world-class experience for our members. I’m proud of what the team has achieved, and I look forward to watching them succeed for years to come.”

He added, “While it’s great to have achieved the highest level of status with all of the major hotel brands that gets me an end-of-the-hall room or a higher floor location, I am most excited about spending more time in South Florida with my wife Natalie and our three wonderful children!”

According to the social media post, he will assist Wheels Up with a transition during the month.

Firestone spent a decade in sports marketing with the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, and the NFL until joining Sentient Jet as Director of Sports Marketing.

From there, he was part of Kenny Dichter’s team at Marquis Jet Partners before leaving to launch Asia Jet, where he served as CEO until becoming the President of Asia/Pacific for Hawker Beechcraft.

In 2012, he returned from Hong Kong to join Dichter in starting Wheels Up.

In the process, they grew from three King Air turboprops to be part of a select group of providers alongside NetJets, Directional Aviation’s Flexjet and Sentient Jet, and Vista’s XO and VistaJet that generated over $1 billion a year of flight sales.

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