Private aviation company Wheels Up saw revenue increase 24% year-over-year to $325.6 million in the first quarter of 2022. At the same time the number of Active Members grew 26% year-over-year to 12,424 and Live Flight Legs increased 15% year-over-year to 17,626.
"The record first quarter revenue is a testament to the company's unique market position and iconic brand as an innovator in a supply-constrained market. We are looking forward to leveraging our recent Air Partner acquisition to expand globally," said Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. "Over the past several months, we have made meaningful improvements to address operational challenges and expect to realize the benefit in the coming quarters. We are ahead of plan on pilot hiring and continue to add to our maintenance capabilities while also delivering on several key strategic and technology initiatives."
"Continued execution on these initiatives, coupled with the acquisition of Air Partner, the implementation of fuel surcharges and additional capped rate price increases gives us confidence that the company will show strong margin improvements over the course of the year," said Vinayak Hegde, Wheels Up President.
Wheels Up is a publicly traded company and listed on the NYSE with the ticker symbol UP. It went public through a SPAC deal in 2021. It has grown rapidly, including through multiple acquisitions such as Gama Aviation Signature and Delta Private Jets, in addition to the more recent Air Partner acquisition. The company offers membership programs, charter and aircraft management services - as well as unique commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. It operates it's own fleet of aircraft, manages aircraft on behalf of other owners and has a total network of more than 1,500 safety-vetted and verified private aircraft.
The company is loss making at the moment and the net loss increased by $56.8 million year-over-year to a net loss of $89.0 million. Wheels Up says several factors caused the loss, including a decrease in Adjusted Contribution Margin caused by supply constraints and increased operating costs, as well as an increase in equity-based compensation expense, including a broad-based equity grant to the Wheels Up employee pilots.
The revenue per “Live Flight Leg” increased 8% year-over-year to $13,410 as a result of a higher mix of larger cabin flying and partially offset by a seasonal decrease in average flight stage length.
For the full year the company is forecasting revenue of about $1.5 billion.