Let’s make a deal. The private jet M&A market is hot, but not without risks

Private aviation M&A

Vista Global’s deal yesterday with Red Wing that brings it 15 light jets to XOJET is the latest and doesn’t look to be the last

In just over 3 years, we’ve tracked over 50 deals, fundraises, launches, and bankruptcies

The COVID-19 crisis may be bringing the already simmering mergers and acquisitions market for private jet operators and brokers back to a boil.

Wheels Up adds whole aircraft sales unit

Wheels Up appoints Bergeson COO

Wheels Up Aircraft Sales enables the private aviation provider to offer one-stop shopping

Jet sharing, empty legs, on-demand charter, fixed-rate jet cards, aircraft management, MRO services, and now full aircraft sales brokering are under the Wheels Up brand

With a powerful digital presence and brand recognition only matched by market leader NetJets, Wheels Up is once again showing it intends to be a driving force in private aviation.

This morning’s announcement of Wheels Up Aircraft Sales puts the company into aircraft brokerage, acquisition, trade, and advisory services.

NetJets, Wheels Up, Flexjet, and Vista Global’s XOJET lead the list of Biggest U.S. Private Jet Operators

Largest Private Jet Airlines

Despite consolidation, the 25 largest Part 135 and 91K operators account for only 25% of the U.S. private jet market

Why you won’t find Wheels Up when you look at lists of private aviation operators

Sizing the U.S. private jet market between Part 91, Part 91K fractional and Part 135 charter operators

8 of the 10 largest companies are led by the founder or family member

Here’s a big difference between the private jet market and the airlines. Just 10 airlines account for 90% of the domestic market for scheduled passenger traffic. Four companies – Delta Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines – are responsible for two-thirds of U.S. flights.

Despite consolidation, business aviation remains fragmented. An analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons of various reports from Argus TRAQPak and other data shows the 25 largest operators of charter and fractional fleets together account for just 25% of all U.S. flying.

Wheels Up waives membership fees for JetSuite jet card customers

Wheels Up Meals Up

SuiteKey members save the normal $17,500 joining and membership fee

Wheels Up is offering customers of now grounded JetSuite the ability to fly in its membership program waiving the $17,500 joining and initiation fees.

Wheels Up has purchased Travel Management Company

Wheels Up Delta Air Lines

The deal, which is being announced this morning, and closed Friday, adds 26 light jets to the Wheel Up fleet

Wheels Up announced this morning that it has closed a deal to acquire Elkhart, Indiana-based Travel Management Company (TMC), a significant fleet operator of owned and leased light jets serving the on-demand charter market. The deal will increase the current Wheels Up fleet to 119 owned and leased aircraft. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For Wheels Up founder Kenny Dichter, who helped popularize jet cards by launching Marquis Jet Partners in 2001 before selling it to NetJets in 2010, the move comes after he announced in January he had hired Goldman Sachs and Bank of America to provide advice on strategic options.

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