The pay-as-you-go jet card provider plans to introduce a new membership tier targeting lower frequency private air travelers in 2019
After helping develop the 25 hours per year private jet traveler with Marquis Jet Partners before selling it to NetJets, and then launching Wheels Up in 2013 with a pay-as-you-go model attractive to folks who fly under 25 hours per year, Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter says his next goal is to bring a branded, high-quality offering to people who fly under 10 hours per year.
Wheels Up co-founder and CEO Kenny Dichter says his jet card membership company is on track to double members within the next three-and-a-half years
Speaking at Revolution.Aero being held in San Francisco, Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter told an audience of aviation executives and investors his company will be ready to participate in futuristic private aviation solutions as they develop. “If electric (aircraft) is happening, we want to distribute the technology to our members,” he said. The conference is focused on the future of aviation, including new solutions targeting trips under 300 miles, typically the drive, train and bus market.
Wheels Up recently added the Cessna Citation X to its jet card fleet of Citation Excel/XLS and Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft types
The Miami Marlins said Wheels Up is now the team’s Official Private Aviation Partner, with a focus on promoting Wheels Up services in the Marlins Green Room, presented by Ciroc. Wheels Up will now have the ability to leverage celebrities, influencers and other athletes attending Marlins games.
Jet card membership providers Wheels Up and Sentient Jet will both be using horse racing this weekend to promote their private aviation programs
Wheels Up said today it has signed as exclusive sponsor of undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse Justify (4-to-5 odds) as he competes at the 2018 Belmont Stakes to become the second Triple Crown winner in 40 years this Saturday, June 9. As part of the sponsorship, Wheels Up will appear as the only brand logo on Justify and his jockey, Mike Smith, covering the horse’s blanket and Smith’s pant legs, turtleneck, and boots.
In 2017, Wheels Up continued its prolific fundraising. In 2018 it’s expanding its reach with a Citation X fleet. Now it confirms an IPO may be on the way.
Kenny Dichter, the founder and CEO of Wheels Up, has carved a preeminent spot for himself in the world of business aviation. In 2001 he approached then NetJets Chairman and CEO Richard Santulli with the idea he would buy shares in aircraft from the Warren Buffett owned fractional aircraft operator and then resell them in 25-hour chunks as jet cards. At the time, there was just a handful of players in that young jet card segment. Fractional shares start at 50 hours, so the idea was that Marquis Jet Partners would act as an entry point funneling customers to NetJets as their private flying increased. It did, but it also opened up a new market – affluent individuals and companies that didn’t want to commit to the then five-year contracts that fractional ownership entailed or didn’t anticipate needing 50 hours. It was easy. When you went through your 25 hours, you would call up and buy 25 more hours. There were no monthly management fees. When you flew, you paid.