Private aviation charter and aircraft ownership services company Wheels Up yesterday closed its transaction with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle, making it a publicly traded company. The capital raised will accelerate investment in Wheels Up's technology and product offerings, driving global growth strategies and expansion of the Wheels Up Marketplace with membership and non-membership options, the company said.
“We are proud to be the first private aviation operator on the New York Stock Exchange,” Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter told AIN. “Since our 2013 launch, it has been our mission to create a platform to democratize private aviation. The IPO provided us with $650 million in proceeds, and we're evaluating all available options on where to invest that. We're now in a position to look at global partners who are aligned with our marketplace vision.”
In the first quarter, Wheels Up reported record year-over-year revenue growth of 68 percent, to $261.7 million, and a 56 percent increase in the number of active members. Wheels Up offers membership programs, on-demand charter, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales, and corporate solutions.
Now known officially as Wheels Up Experience, the company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UP.” To commemorate the completion of the transaction, Dichter, Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle chairman and CEO Ravi Thakran, and some members of the Wheels Up founding and leadership teams will ring the closing bell at the NYSE today.