Private aviation company Wheels Up (NYSE:UP) reported its first set of results as a public company, following on from its SPAC listing. The second quarter revenue increased 113% year-over-year to $285.6 million, live flight legs increased 146% year-over-year to 18,234 and active members grew to 10,515 representing 47% year-over-year growth.
Since its founding in 2013 Wheels Up has grown rapidly, through organic growth and more recently by a series of acquisitions of other private aviation companies, including Travel Management Company, Delta Private Jets and Mountain Aviation. This summer it completed a merger with Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp. and its shares commencing trading on the New York Stock Exchange on July 14, 2021 under the "UP" ticker symbol.
Wheels Up offers a full range of private aviation services including on-demand charter flights, several membership programs, corporate solutions, aircraft management and maintenance, and whole aircraft sales.
"The accelerating growth in our revenue is a great way to mark our first reported results as a public company and creates a solid foundation to build upon," said Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up Chairman & CEO. "Our iconic brand, combined with our compelling membership model and exclusive partnerships and experiences, have uniquely positioned us to gain market share during this time of robust demand. As always, I want to recognize our hardworking team for their tireless efforts and thank our loyal Members and Customers for their trust in us."
"The demand in the first half of the year has increased across all cabin classes and our diverse fleet of aircraft is contributing to our success in attracting new Members, retaining existing Members and driving an increase in live flight legs," said Eric Jacobs, Wheels Up Chief Financial Officer. "Our strategic initiatives are resonating with Members and Customers, and we believe that our investments in operations, technology, product development and customer service will help ensure a premium experience and drive future operating efficiencies."
Activity and Member Details
One of the useful aspects of Wheels Up being public is that you can now access all their financial details through their SEC filings and get a feel for how they are doing.
Wheels Up says it defines Active Members as “the number of Connect, Core and Business membership accounts that generated membership revenue in a given period and are active as of the end of the reporting period.”
Overall Active Users grew 27% year-over-year to 11,281, this includes (the 10,515) Active Members. In other words, there were just over 700 people who used the Wheels Up platform and aircraft but who have not joined as a member.
Note, Wheels Up also makes some of its aircraft available to other charter operators and brokers (referred to as wholesale transactions), and the Active User number excludes wholesale flight activity.
The revenue per Live Flight Leg increased 3% year-over-year to $11,663. Wheels Up says this is a result of a higher mix of larger cabin flying and partially offset by a decrease in average flight stage length. The total revenue for the six months ended June 30 was $547m.
The company has over 180 aircraft in their owned and leased fleet that includes turboprops, light, midsize, super-midsize and large-cabin jets, more than half of which are Wheels Up branded aircraft. As of June 30, 2021, they also have a managed fleet across all cabin classes of approximately 165 aircraft, and a network of third-party operators in their “program fleet” who provide access to over 1,200 additional safety vetted and verified partner aircraft.
During the quarter, Wheels Up partnered with American Express as the exclusive private jet partner for the new American Express Premium Private Jet Program for all Platinum Card Members. Wheels Up also partnered with Abercrombie & Kent to offer Wheels Up members bespoke travel experiences utilizing the Wheels Up fleet in North America and private small group journeys in international destinations.