Wheels Up with Bell Textron will launch a helicopter service later this year. The initiative provides connecting service to flights by partner Delta Air Lines
In February, United Airlines placed a $1 billion order for 200 Archer eVTOL aircraft
Private aviation rival Directional Aviation bought helicopter share and jet card provider Associated Aircraft Group earlier this year
Wheels Up today announced it is partnering with Bell Textron, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company. It plans to develop short- and long-term solutions with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The collaboration will focus on the growing demand for convenient intra-urban travel from city centers and regional airport helipads.
Kenny Dichter and Wheels Up doled out less than $100 million in cash to build the second-largest private jet operator with a $2 billion valuation
When Wheels Up’s acquired 5th-biggest Part 135 charter operator Mountain Aviation in January, it pushed the group past Directional Aviation’s Flexjet as the second-largest for-hire private aircraft operator in the U.S. For Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter, it was a day at the beach compared to another cold New York winter morning in early 2019. At that point, Wheels Up didn’t operate a single aircraft. Founded in 2013, its owned and leased fleet was outsourced to Gama Aviation Signature. Wheels Up was a big brand. Yet, it was merely a marketing organization selling memberships onto what was then mainly a fleet of King Air 350i turboprops.
Wheels Up quietly started allowing non-members to book charter flights. It’s also launching a frequent flyer program and will allow Delta SkyMiles members to redeem miles on Wheels Up
Wheels Up has quietly begun allowing non-members to book charter flights through its app. The New York-based private aviation provider will also launch a frequent flyer program for its private jet customers by the end of the year. At the same time, members of the Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program will be able to redeem miles for Wheels Up products and services.
Wheels Up ended 2020 with 10,995 active members and $690 million in revenues. It’s forecast to reach $912 million this year
– Will Wheels Up be the first private jet company with its own co-branded credit card?
– The private aviation company sees a future for the Wheels Up brand in luxury lodging, yachts, and experiences to credit cards and financial services
Wheels Up is going public via a SPAC. It’s provides a rare look into the world of private jet companies, which are either privately held or subsidiaries of large publicly traded companies, with limited public data.