Wheels Up, a new private membership company launched by Marquis Jet-founder Kenny Dichter, has placed a record-breaking aircraft order with Beechcraft thought to be worth $1.4 billion including maintenance.
The value of the 105 new aircraft deal is $788 million, with the inclusion of the maintenance bringing the overall value to $1.4 billion.
The first 35 Beechcraft King Airs will be delivered to Wheels Up between now and mid-2015, with the first nine deliveries coming in 2013. Wheels Up will initially focus on the Northeastern United States. The deal includes options for 70 additional aircraft as Wheels Up expands nationally over the next two to three years.
Bill Boisture, Beechcraft chief executive officer said, “The Beechcraft King Air 350i is the perfect aircraft for Wheels Up due to its proven track record of tremendous flexibility and efficiency for regional travel. The pairing of the 350i and support from our world-class maintenance organization with the innovative founders and management team of Wheels Up is a winning combination.”
Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up founder and chief executive officer said, “We are excited to offer the King Air 350i for the first time on an exclusive basis in a national fleet format as Wheels Up redefines private aviation’s entry point.”
The Wheels Up King Air 350i aircraft will have several enhancements for members including state-of-the-art interiors, Wi-Fi connectivity and a luxury lavatory vanity.