NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wheels Up, the newly-launched revolutionary membership-based private aviation company that lowers the cost of entry to private aviation and provides unparalleled flexibility and service, has selected Gama Charters Inc, as the operator of its US-based fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft for the Wheels Up Program. The announcement was made today at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas.
Through the partnership, Gama Charters will operate and manage the US-based fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft. Beechcraft has the contract to maintain all aircraft within the fleet. Wheels Up will continue to act as agent of the passenger.
Wheels Up forged an exclusive partnership with Beechcraft in August 2013 to offer its members closed-fleet access to King Air 350i aircraft, which will be staged across seven ‘regional hubs’ in the continental United States. Through a groundbreaking order, valued in excess of $1.4 billion, including support agreements, the first 35 Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft will be delivered to Wheels Up between now and mid-2015, with the first nine deliveries to be made in 2013. The deal includes options for 70 additional aircraft as Wheels Up expands nationally over the next two to three years.
“Gama Charters has reinforced a culture focused on the highest level of safety that is driven by their senior management team. As participants in the FAA SMS Pilot Project, there was no better choice to operate and manage the fleet of Beechcraft King Airs at Wheels Up,” said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up. Gama Charters has the infrastructure of a large company, but retains the flexibility and adaptability of a small company, and with 30 years of continuous service, I am honored to partner with this experienced team.”
“Gama Charters is extremely pleased to be aligned with Kenny Dichter and Wheels Up, as both of our companies share strong values of superior quality, safety and recognized leadership in private aviation,” said Tom Connelly, President of Gama Charters. “It is a true testament to our employees worldwide, that we offer the experience, safety standards and operational know-how that game-changing companies like Wheels Up gravitate to. Wheels Up clearly shares our exceptionally high standards for safety and client service, and this newfound relationship is a perfect fit for both companies and for our clients.”
Built on decades of experience, a commitment to excellence and continual improvement, Wheels Up is the next evolution in democratizing private aviation, brought forth from the innovators who created the private jet card concept. Wheels Up offers a complete “mission-appropriate” solution to meet the individual travel needs of sophisticated private aviation consumers through access and affordability not previously seen within the private aviation space.
About Gama Charters
Gama Charters was founded in 1984 as Flight Services Group and has held it’s Air Carrier certificate since then accumulating nearly 300,000 safe flying hours. The senior management team and FAA post holders have been in place for over 20 years. Gama Charters is the US Air Carrier and branding partner of the Gama Aviation Group.
Gama Aviation Group is a global business aviation services organization, founded in 1983 in the United Kingdom by Marwan Khalek and Stephen Wright. Gama Aviation currently employs over 500 people and operates over 80 business aircraft around the globe at 25 operating bases across four continents. Gama Aviation’s global headquarters are located at Farnborough Airport in the UK, with its American headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut, its Middle East and North Africa headquarters in Sharjah and its Asian headquarters in Hong Kong.
It’s companies and affiliates hold EU-OPS, FAA and UAE GCAA Charter Certificates, EASA, FAA and GCAA Part 145 Maintenance Approvals, EASA Part 21 Design and Manufacture Approvals and collectively offer business aircraft management, charter, maintenance and design, travel, valeting, FBO Executive Handling and aviation software services.
The group remains majority owned by its founders; in 2007 the group received an equity investment from GrowthGate Capital Corporation, Crescent Enterprises and a small number of other strategic partners. For additional information, visit gamaaviation.com.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is a revolutionary membership-based private aviation company that lowers the cost of entry to private aviation and provides unparalleled flexibility created and led by Kenny Dichter, the Founder of Marquis Jet and innovator of the first 25-hour fractional jet card. Wheels Up has developed proprietary cutting-edge applications and offers unrivaled personalized service, providing members with a unique high-tech and high-touch experience. With a modest initiation fee and reasonable annual dues, Wheels Up is designed to appeal to individuals and corporations currently flying privately. With an 8,760-hour culture (referencing the number of hours in a year), Wheels Up membership includes Wheels Down, a corresponding lifestyle and event service engaging members through exclusive offerings such as special programs around major sporting events, intimate concerts, culinary experiences and opportunities to meet luminaries from the worlds of entertainment, politics and business.
Except as stated otherwise, Wheels Up Partners (“Wheels Up”) acts solely as agent for the Wheels Up Members in arranging flights on their behalf. Wheels Up is not an operator of aircraft. FAA licensed and DOT registered air carriers will exercise full and complete operational control of the program aircraft. Any aircraft owned by Wheels Up will be dry leased to the operating air carrier to facilitate operations by that carrier. For the VistaJet program, Wheels Up acts solely as a sales agent for VistaJet with VistaJet acting as the agent for the passenger and Jet Aviation Flight Services, Inc., an FAA Part 135 certificated and DOT Part 298 registered air carrier, operating the aircraft used in this program. Subject to additional terms and conditions in the Wheels Up Program documents. For additional information, please visit www.wheelsup.com