Wheels Up adds camouflage King Air 350i to its fleet

Wheels Up

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.

Wheels Up is adding large cabin fixed rates and a no-fee membership tier for on-demand charter

Wheels up

With the move, Wheels Up will offer members fixed rates from the King Air 350i through light, midsize, super-midsize and large cabin private jets

Following its acquisition of TMC Jets and Avianis, plus the launch of its Connect membership earlier this year, and flush with $128 million in new funding, Wheels Up continues its aggressive moves.

During the National Business Aviation Association’s annual conference being held in Las Vegas, founder and CEO Kenny Dichter said in the next year the company will launch a no-cost membership enabling users to book on-demand charters using dynamic pricing the from its Wheels Up Marketplace launched in February.

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Everyone wants to fly privately, says Kenny Dichter, the CEO and co-founder of Wheels Up. And the idea is the cheaper it is to fly privately, the more people who will do it. Dichter says that was his idea using the eight-seat King Air 350i to “democratize” short flight.

In the world of chartering your entire aircraft, he cut the price for a one-hour flight for eight people to around $5,000 compared to a cost of $8,000 to $10,000 for the same trip on a jet. His argument was that there was a minimal time penalty since landings and takeoffs are not at full speed, and often as you get near to your destination airport, airplanes are slowed down to similar speeds.

Wheels Up has acquired Avianis in play to enhance customer experience

Following its $128 million raise last month, and acquisition of Travel Management Company with 24 light jets over the summer, Wheels Up has made a tech buy

Wheels Up has acquired Avianis Systems, LLC, for an undisclosed amount. It comes just six weeks after raising $128 million in a Class D Equity Round giving the New York-based private aviation membership company a billion-dollar valuation. The deal was first reported by Corporate Jet Investor in advance of its Revolution.aero conference being held today and tomorrow in San Francisco.

Booking a private jet should be as easy as booking a car with Uber or booking a home with Airbnb

Kenny Dichter, CEO, Wheels Up

Avianis, according to its website, provides a comprehensive platform approach to managing a complete flight operation in one system. In its pitch to its B2B customers, it claims, “This enables a more holistic and cyclical view of the entire business that allows you to stay in touch with every detail of your business in one web-based platform.”

Wheels Up adds capped hourly rate, guaranteed availability Super Midsize jets

The new program follows its light jet program introduced earlier this year.

When Wheels Up’s Kenny Dichter told Squawk Box on CNBC in January that it was working on strategic initiatives, common wisdom in the industry was the founder and CEO was following a similar move by XOJET in 2018, which ultimately led to its acquisition by Vista Global and merger with JetSmarter.

It hasn’t turned out that way.

Weeks later came Connect, a new entry-level membership, priced at $2,995 designed to increase the addressable mark of customers who want to share flights to save costs.

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