Membership-based private flight provider Wheels Up plans to start service in Europe in the first half of next year, company founder Kenny Dichter said today at EBACE 2014. He added that GAMA Aviation will operate the flights for European Wheels Up customers.
Wheels Up (Booth 2807) currently operates in three zones in the U.S., the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest. Besides Europe, targeted future expansion includes Northern California, Chicago and Dallas.
Dichter also said Wheels Up will be the exclusive sales agent in the U.S. for two Bombardier Global 5000s operated by Jet Aviation Flight Services. This follows an expansion of the partnership in March, which makes large-cabin aircraft in Jet Aviation’s fleet available to Wheels Up members through a guaranteed availability, guaranteed pricing program.
By year-end, Wheels Up expects to make four to five Global 5000s available as part of an expected 42-aircraft fleet, which is currently at 22 airplanes. The company is also marketing 10 factory refurbished Cessna Citation XLSs, the first two of which are scheduled to be deliveredon Thursday. Like its fleet of new King Air 350is, Wheels Up’s XLSs will be operated by Gama Aviation.
Dichter said Wheels Up expects to have 500 members by the end of June, 1,200 by year-end and 2,500 by the end of 2015.