Wheels Up on target for $400 million in sales and 5,000 members

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 compares time saving of its King Air 350i to commercial flights and driving

King Air 350

Wheels Up offers pay-as-you-go jet card memberships on its fleet of King Air 350i, Citation Excel/XLS and Citation X

 

With its family memberships starting at $17,500 and then offering pay-as-you-go flying with fixed rates and guaranteed availability Wheels Up has long positioned itself as a leader in democratizing private air travel. 

Wheels Up confirms possible IPO; Citation X pricing imminent

Kenny Dichter Wheels Up

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. 

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