Delta Air Lines and Wheels Up are partnering to create one of the world’s largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft.
The companies have reached a definitive agreement for Delta Private Jets, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta, to combine with private aviation company Wheels Up.
When the transaction closes, which is expected to happen early next year, Wheels Up will have a fleet of more than 190 private aircraft and over 8,000 members and customers. Delta will also hold an equity position in Wheels Up.
“This groundbreaking partnership will democratize private aviation – making the convenience of private jet travel accessible to more consumers,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Wheels Up’s lifestyle experiences and innovative digital platform, combined with the scale and service of Delta Private Jets, help further Delta’s mission of connecting people and communities worldwide through travel. This agreement is the latest step in Delta’s ongoing effort to build partnerships that extend Delta’s brand beyond its core business.”
“Bringing together our complementary businesses, which represent the best consumer brands in private and commercial aviation, is transformative and a first for the industry,” said Wheels Up’s founder and CEO, Kenny Dichter. “The combination of Wheels Up and Delta Private Jets, along with the partnership commitments between Delta and Wheels Up, aligns with our growth objectives and vision of building a platform that will make private flying and the private flying lifestyle accessible to significantly more individuals and businesses in the US and around the world.”
The transaction will provide an array of new products and features for existing and prospective customers of Wheels Up, Delta Private Jets and Delta to make private aviation travel more accessible to all. Details will be announced when the transaction closes.
Dichter will continue in his role leading the Wheels Up senior management team as it builds its partnership with Delta.