NOTE: The below originally appeared as the editorial in our September 1 One Minute Week newsletter. To find out more, and sign up for free, please click here.
Let’s be honest, most paint schemes on business aircraft are pretty dull. Occasionally you’ll see a splash of colour set against a sea of white, but in general business aircraft like to blend into the background. So when an aircraft comes along that’s different, there’s a good chance that you’re going to sit up and take notice.
That’s exactly what Kenny Dichter’s Wheels Up is hoping with a pink King Air that his company introduced last week. Gone is the blue tail and sash across the windows to be replaced by pink. This King Air stands out for a reason, and that reason is breast cancer awareness.
The earliest recorded case of breast cancer was in Egypt in 1600BC. 3,500 years later, and 110 women are still needlessly dying from breast cancer every day in the US. In the UK, 35 women die every day.
Dichter hopes that his pink King Air will not only raise awareness, but also help raise funds for Dubin Breast Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Starting in October, Wheels Up members will be given the option of sponsoring the aircraft for each hour that it flies. The company is expecting it to fly 600 – 800 hours over the course of the year.
“It’s a fly-a-thon, the same way you would do a walk-a-thon. So what we are going to do is go out to our members, and on an opt in basis, they will be able to sponsor the airplane”. Says Dichter. “We believe that we will raise over $1 million dollars in the 12 months with our first annual Wheels Up fly-a-thon.”
To kick the initiative off, Wheels Up are also planning to donate some money for each new membership sold during October.
“For every membership that is sold during the month of October, we’re going to donate $500 per membership. We are projecting 150+ new members in October, so we’ll be kicking this thing off with a $75,000 donation” added Dichter.
To Wheels Up’s credit, not only are they supporting a fantastic cause, but they have realised that they are in a position to raise awareness about breast cancer, and they can also raise a lot of money for a great cause as well.