Good news, globetrotters. Your choice in private jets is about to get much bigger. That’s because Delta Air Lines and Wheels Up have teamed up to launch a new fleet of private aircraft aimed not just at the business-class fliers, but at all manner of travelers.
Touted as one of the world’s largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft, the new partnership will give travelers unique access to Wheels Up’s private aviation platform alongside Delta’s global network.
“This groundbreaking partnership will democratize private aviation—making the convenience of private jet travel accessible to more consumers,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.
The new venture will capitalize on Wheels Up’s membership programs, innovative digital platform and world-class lifestyle experiences, along with the scale of service an airliner like Delta can provide. This means an array of new products and valuable features will be offered to existing and prospective customers of Wheels Up, Delta Private Jets and Delta.
“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.
When the transaction closes, Wheels Up will have a fleet of more than 190 private aircraft and more than 8,000 members and customers. Delta will also hold an equity position in Wheels Up—which said in August that it had completed a $128 million round of funding that valued the company at an impressive $1.1 billion.
While financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, it is all expected to be finalized early next year. In the interim, the respective parties will continue to serve and communicate with their existing customers, employees and vendors in the same manner in which they do today. Watch this space for more details about the partnership and its offerings when the deal closes.