Wheels Up becomes the first major jet card provider to offer four guaranteed availability jet cabin categories and a turboprop program on a national basis
What a difference a year makes. At this time last year, rumors were swirling. Wheels Up was expanding beyond its core King Air 350i and Citation Excel fleet with an off-fleet light jet program.
The new programs, effective January 2nd, will offer dynamic trip pricing with capped hourly rates and guaranteed availability nationwide. They will run across five cabin categories, from its King Air 350i fleet to light, midsize, super-midsize, and large jets.
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.
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.
After bringing turboprops mainstream by championing the King
Air 350i, Wheels Up is now filling out its product offerings
There are probably few privately held companies that get as
much airtime on the business cable networks as Kenny Dichter and Wheels Up, his
entry second entry into the world of jet cards. His debut in 2001 was an
exclusive agreement with NetJets to sell jet cards onto its fractionally owned
fleet. Instead of having to buy at least 50 hours per year with a five-year
commitment, Marquis Jet Partners offered the opportunity to buy in 25 hours at
Sentient Jet bested JetSuite, JetAviation, VistaJet, and Delta Private Jets as the highest rated jet card program for overall satisfaction, according to the annual reader survey from Business Jet Traveler while JetSuite took the top spot in the most categories
Sentient Jet likes to say it was first – that it invented the jet card. It can also say it’s the best when it comes to overall satisfaction, at least according to the 8th annual Readers’ Choice Survey from Business Jet Traveler. The survey generated 1,487 responses, a 24% increase from 2017 and covers everything from jet cards to reasons readers fly privately (Saving time followed by ability to use airports airlines don’t serve were far and away the top selections), top fractional programs (Flexjet beat out NetJets), where the flights took place (71% said within North America), how many passengers (53% said 3-to-5 with only 8% flying solo), typical distance (77% were under 1,500 miles), and favorite aircraft and helicopter models.