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NBAA Show Report: Membership-Based Private Aviation Company to Launch

Wheels Up King Air 350iKenny Dichter, Founder of Marquis Jet and innovator of the first 25-hour fractional jet card, is once again transforming the private aviation industry with Wheels Up, a revolutionary membership-based private aviation company that eliminates fixed costs and provides unparalleled flexibility.

Wheels Up will commence full-service flight operations October 2013, and appeal to new entrants as well as to individuals and corporations currently flying privately. Wheels Up made its first executive appointment, tapping industry veteran David Baxt to serve as Co-Founder and President. The announcement was made by Kenny Dichter, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wheels Up.

According to Mr Dichter, Wheels Up projects a membership base of 10,000 to 15,000 individuals and corporations, flying an average of 20 to 30 hours annually. The Company anticipates that a typical member will generate between $100,000 and $125,000 in flight revenues per year, resulting in annual revenues between $1 billion and $2 billion, representing at least 200,000 flight hours.

“The world is a different place compared to when Marquis Jet was founded in 2001. Customers want the advantages of private aviation but demand the utmost cost benefit, flexibility, simplicity and safety standards,” said Mr. Dichter, who led Marquis Jet to cumulative revenues in excess of $4 billion, and another $1 billion in fractional sales, during his tenure. “With Wheels Up, we’ll deliver just that, while also instituting a ‘8,760-hour culture,’ ensuring we recognize and cater to our customers’ needs and interests in every hour, of every day, throughout the year.”

Wheels Up recently announced that the Company forged an exclusive partnership with Beechcraft to offer members closed-fleet access to Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft, which will be staged across seven ‘regional clusters’ in the continental United States. Wheels Up placed a groundbreaking order for 105 of the King Air 350i aircraft which, including support agreements, is valued in excess of $1.4 billion. The Company will take delivery of the first nine aircraft starting in October 2013 and, subsequently, will offer members access to a variety of other aircraft. Wheels Up is also in the final stages of selecting an operating partner from a short list of companies.

With cutting-edge web applications and unrivaled personalized service, Wheels Up members will enjoy a unique experience that is both high-tech and high-touch. Members will also have access to Wheels Down, an experiential lifestyle concierge service that engages members off the tarmac through exclusive offerings including special programs around major sporting events (e.g. The Masters and the Super Bowl), intimate concerts, culinary experiences with some of the world’s top chefs, and opportunities to meet luminaries from the worlds of entertainment, politics and business.

For more information, go to WheelsUp.com.