Delta’s stake in Wheels Up soars to $520 million

Delta Air Lines Ed Bastian

The value of Delta Air Lines’ stake in Wheels Up increased to $520 million from $210 million, surpassing its 13% holding in Korean Air

Delta Air Lines’ decision to sell Delta Private Jets has yielded a huge gain on paper. It’s up over 100% just since the fourth quarter. In its latest 10-Q filing, the Atlanta-based airline increased the carrying value of its 24% interest in Wheels Up to $520 million. That makes the New York-based private aviation company its largest equity ownership stake.

Wheels Up, Delta Air Lines to combine their private jet businesses

Delta Private Jets and Wheels Up will have over 190 private aircraft

The deal is expected to close in early 2020, subject to closing conditions and required governmental and regulatory approvals 

Delta will take an equity stake in Wheels Up becoming its largest shareholder

Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed

The transaction sets up a three-horse race with Directional Aviation and Vista Global as they battle market leader NetJets

Wheels Up’s busy 2019 included raising more money, acquiring light jet operator TMC Jets, tech platform Avianis, expanding its jet sharing membership, plus launching fixed-rate programs for light and super-midsize jets

Last week it announced a major revamp of its own jet membership programs

Is Wheels Up now poised for international expansion?

Wheels Up and Delta Air Lines this morning are announcing they have reached a definitive agreement to combine their private jet businesses.

“This groundbreaking partnership will democratize private aviation – making the convenience of private jet travel accessible to more consumers,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

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