This month, Wheels Up Experience Inc. (“Wheels Up” or the “Company”) (NYSE: UP) became the first private aviation company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”). The Company announced that it has officially closed its transaction with Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp. (NYSE: ASPL), a special purpose acquisition company. Its common stock will trade on the NYSE under the symbol “UP”. The business combination was approved by Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp. shareholders on July 12, 2021 and the transaction closed on July 13, 2021.
The Company’s strategy is built upon and focuses on creating and growing an accessible marketplace for private aviation while elevating the overall travel experience both in the air and on the ground. Today’s transaction uniquely positions Wheels Up as it continues to accelerate marketplace development in response to growing global demand and adoption of private flying. The Company will also invest in adjacent lifestyle and consumer services to complement its already robust membership offerings. Over the course of the last eight years, Wheels Up has delivered growth through customer acquisition, retention, strategic M&A, and organic demand. The Company recently announced several key partnerships adding to its bespoke member benefits platform with iconic lifestyle brands, including American Express, Porsche, and Belmond, among others.
In the first quarter of 2021, Wheels Up had record year-over-year revenue growth of 68% to $261.7M and a 56% increase in active members. Wheels Up is the only company in the industry to offer a comprehensive total aviation solution including membership programs, on-demand private flights across all cabin categories, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales and corporate solutions. Members also have access to commercial aviation travel benefits through the Wheels Up strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL).
The capital raised will accelerate investment in Wheels Up’s technology and product offerings, driving the Company’s core global growth strategies and expansion of the Wheels Up Marketplace with membership and non-membership options.
“Today is a special milestone for Wheels Up,” said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO at Wheels Up. “Since our 2013 launch, it has been our mission to create a dynamic platform to democratize private aviation making it possible for significantly more people to experience private flying. We are honored to be a public company on the NYSE, and we look forward to taking our disruptive marketplace global.”
“Aspirational’s purpose was always to support a premium brand that delivers a compelling vision and lifestyle experience for today’s consumer,” said Ravi Thakran, Chairman & CEO at Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp., and newly appointed Wheels Up Board member added, “We are thrilled for Wheels Up as they expand globally with the innovative Wheels Up Marketplace.”
To commemorate the completion of the transaction Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter, Ravi Thakran, and select members of the Wheels Up Founding and Leadership Teams will ring the closing bell at the NYSE at 4pm EDT on July 14, 2021. A live stream of the event and replay can be accessed by visiting https://www.nyse.com/bell.
The majority of the Wheels Up aircraft fleet consists of 350i, with many having speciality paint jobs to promote various causes.
(Press release: Wheels Up)