Private aviation company Airshare has acquired the aircraft management business of Wheels Up. This agreement brings about 90 managed aircraft to Airshare, and significantly expands its fleet and locations.
In August this year Wheels Up and Airshare announced they had a provisional agreement to transfer the Wheels Up aircraft management business to Airshare.
Prior to this transaction Airshare already managed about 30 aircraft from King Air turboprops to large cabin Bombardier Globals and Gulfstreams. It also has a fractional fleet of Embraer Phenoms and Bombardier Challengers.
“Everybody knew us for the fractional side and not for the managed side” John Owen, President and CEO of Airshare told SherpaReport “Even though prior to this acquisition our managed fleet was larger than our fractional fleet.”
The acquisition just closed over this weekend, and the full Airshare fleet is now about 150 planes in total including the managed and fractional aircraft.
The combination also doubles the number of Airshare employees, going from about 300 up to 600 post acquisition.
“As of day one, post-acquisition, customers will have the exact same contacts,” John Owen told me last week, “they will see zero disruption with the exact same teams supporting their aircraft as they do currently.”
The staff will include pilots, support, maintenance and coordinators and even the admin. staff such as accounting. Importantly, it will also include charter department staff, who generate charter revenue for managed aircraft that want this income.
Airshare is headquartered in Kansas and historically has focused on the central US, although as its fleet has expanded and particularly with the larger aircraft, the planes can be found all over the country and also fly internationally. Recent expansion has seen moves into Chicago and South Florida. Commenting on this new management acquisition John Owen noted “we’ll have a nationwide footprint overnight.”
John told SherpaReport that they will look at hangers and facilities across the country and potentially build private terminals to provide a full experience to aircraft owners, charter and fractional customers. He added that the most likely locations for these developments are in California, Florida and the Northeast. John highlighted “It’s a coast-to-coast fleet.”
“We’re very excited to find out what we can do together,” said John Owen, summarizing the additions.