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.
NetJets, Wheels Up, and Sentient Jet execs tell attendees at Corporate Jet Investor Americas 2020 they expect the private jet recovery to continue through next year
Wheels Up, with the second-largest for-hire fleet behind NetJets, says flying is already at pre-COVID levels. Jet card leader Sentient Jet recently restored pre-pandemic budget levels
Airline CEOs continue to say it could take until 2024 or beyond to recover from the COVID-19 downturn. In a parallel universe, the heads of private aviation’s biggest players painted a far different picture. Bosses at NetJets, Wheels Up, and Sentient Jet each offered bullish 2021 forecasts. They were all speaking at Corporate Jet Investor Americas 2020.
It’s the fourth King Air to be painted as part of philanthropic initiatives from Wheels Up Cares
Wheels Up yesterday unveiled a camouflage-painted Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft as part of its Wheels Up Cares philanthropic initiative.
The Wheels Up Camouflage Plane has a custom livery that was created and painted by Textron Aviation Inc. and honors those in the military who bravely served and continue to serve our country, while benefiting the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a non-profit organization that offers compassionate care to those grieving the loss of a military loved one.
The Camouflage Beechcraft King Air 350i will remain indefinitely in the Wheels Up fleet to serve as a flying symbol of TAPS’ mission.