Wheels Up has continued its recent acquisition spree. It just acquired Gama Aviation Signature, a leading private aviation services company that provides aircraft management, private jet charter, and ancillary support for its managed aircraft. Gama Aviation Signature has been the exclusive operator of the Wheels Up fleet of King Air 350i, Citation Excel/XLS and Citation X aircraft since Wheels Up launched in 2013.
In the last 18 months Wheels Up has acquired Delta Private Jets (DPJ), Travel Management Company (TMC), and Avianis Systems. With this latest purchase, Wheels Up now has an owned and managed fleet of over 300 planes.
"This transaction supports our long-term vision for the future of Wheels Up, and as we continue to build the fleet and offer aircraft management services, we are uniquely positioned in the market with a full ecosystem for all private aviation needs," said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up. "We welcome Gama and their pilots into our Wheels Up family as a natural step based on the successful history of our two companies."
"We are thrilled to officially join Wheels Up and will continue to provide Wheels Up members with industry-leading safety and service," said Tom Connelly, President and CEO of Gama Aviation LLC. "Kenny and his team have created a powerful and trusted brand, which we are excited to be a part of."
Gama Aviation Signature will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Wheels Up and continue to provide the same service to existing aircraft management and charter customers out of its current location in Shelton, CT.
With this new acquisition, Wheels Up has now acquired 3 of the top 10 largest US charter operators and aircraft managers. And, based on the combined fleet size – of both owned and managed planes – it is now the second largest private jet company, with only NetJets having a larger fleet.
While Wheels Up started out just offering access to its own fleet – of King Airs and Citation Excels – more recently it has expanded its offering to include third party vetted aircraft in all sizes. The model is clearly working, since the company has grown to over 8,000 members, who pay from $2,995 for “connect” membership to $29,500 for corporate membership.