Delta Air Lines and Wheels Up are partnering to create one of the world’s largest owned and managed fleets of private jet. The partnership will make private aviation accessible to more consumers and provide unparalleled travel options.
The companies have reached a definitive agreement for Delta Private Jets, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta, to combine with Wheels Up. The transaction will pair Wheels Up’s membership programs, innovative digital platform and world-class lifestyle experiences with Delta Private Jets’ renowned reliability, safety, service and scale. When the transaction closes, 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, helps 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 U.S. and around the world.”
The transaction will provide an array of new products and valuable 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.
Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter will continue in his role leading the Wheels Up senior management team as it builds its partnership with Delta. Additionally, Wheels Up is committed to providing ongoing career opportunities for Delta Private Jets employees, who provide world-class private travel, safety and service.
The transaction is expected to close early next year, and in the interim, Delta Private Jets and Wheels Up will continue to serve and communicate with their existing employees, customers, members, partners and vendors in the same manner in which they do today.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and required governmental and regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed, and there is no expected impact to Delta’s 2019 financial guidance.