Wheels Up acquires US-based Gama Aviation Signature


Wheels Up has acquired private aviation services company, Gama Aviation LLC, which operates as Gama Aviation Signature in the US, to become the second largest private aviation company in North America after NetJets.

Gama Aviation Signature, which was a joint venture between Gama Aviation and Signature Aviation provides aircraft management, private jet charter, and ancillary support for its managed aircraft. The transaction closed on March 2, 2020. 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.

Wheels Up now takes ownership of Gama Aviation Signature, whose aircraft management and charter businesses fit with the acquisitions of Delta Private Jets (DPJ), Travel Management Company (TMC), and Avianis Systems. With this latest deal, Wheels Up now has an owned and managed fleet of over 300 aircraft.

“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 will continue to provide the same service to existing aircraft management and charter customers from its current base in Shelton, Connecticut.

Meanwhile, in December Wheels Up partnered with Delta Air Lines, which involved taking over Delta Private Jets – airline’s 30-year old private aviation division. Delta Air Lines becomes the largest investor in Wheels Up – alongside financial investors Franklin Templeton, Fidelity and T. Rowe Price.