Inside Wheels Up’s plan to be the Amazon of private jets

Wheels Up stock price

In advance of its public listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the company presented analysts its lofty ambitions to revolutionize private jet access

Wheels Up founder Kenny Dichter believes the addressable market for private aviation can grow from its current $31 billion to $80 billion by 2025. It plans to be a key driver. Here’s how…

A detailed overview of each presentation during Wheels Up’s Analyst Day

“So if you’re tired of the same old story…turn some pages.” – REO Speedwagon

Ready or not, Kenny Dichter and Wheels Up plan to change the face of private jet access. It’s a big leap from marketing ploys like selling memberships through Costco. Beyond stump speeches at industry conferences, there will be the harsh spotlight from being a publicly traded company. If he’s successful, the lifelong entrepreneur will find his name alongside aviation innovators such as Pan Am founder Juan Trippe, former American Airlines chairman Robert Crandall, who ignited revenue management and frequent flyer programs, and inventor of fractional private jet ownership, Richard Santulli. The latter created NetJets, the world’s largest private jet operator, and gave Dichter his entree into the industry. In fact, Dichter might fly higher than all of them. Success would make Dichter the Jeff Bezos of private jets.

In a two-hour presentation to financial analysts Friday morning, the founder and CEO of Wheels Up, along with his leadership team, discussed various milestones, projected growth, and insights on where it’s coming from. More than that, they unveiled a dramatic vision for a private aviation marketplace they say could more than double the addressable market by 2025, democratizing the segment down to low single-digit millionaires. It will certainly be key in their plan to grow revenues from $695 million last year to over $2.1 billion by 2025.

Here’s how much Wheels Up paid for each of its 5 acquisitions

Wheels Up Kenny Dichter

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.

Demand levels for private jets could spike 150%, says Wheels Up’s CEO

Kenny Dichter Wheels Up

Private aviation could see record demand in the coming months, says Wheels Up’s Kenny Dichter

Speaking on Dow Jones Marketwatch, Wheels Up’s Kenny Dichter says he thinks “when business travel and traditional vacation come back online, you may see 125%, 150% sort of demand levels.”

Wheels Up’s SPAC reveals revenue, profitability, membership, fleet size and more

Wheels Up Cares fleet

Wheels Up ended 2020 with 10,995 active members and $690 million in revenues. It’s forecast to reach $912 million this year

Will Wheels Up be the first private jet company with its own co-branded credit card?

The private aviation company sees a future for the Wheels Up brand in luxury lodging, yachts, and experiences to credit cards and financial services

Wheels Up is going public via a SPAC. It’s provides a rare look into the world of private jet companies, which are either privately held or subsidiaries of large publicly traded companies, with limited public data.

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