Wheels Up, a private jet company, is set to merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp and go public at a USD2 Billion valuation.
The agreement is expected to be finalized during the second quarter and will make Wheels Up the first publicly traded private jet company. The deal positions the company above many others in the industry that have strived to become the Uber of private air travel.
“We are excited about crossing this milestone and our new partnership with Aspirational. We believe this will allow us to actualize our founding goal of democratizing private aviation, through our unique membership model, suite of products and benefits, and by bringing the shared economy to private aviation through our Wheels Up app. We are looking forward to joining forces with the Aspirational team as we continue to accelerate our global growth and expansion.” said Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, the wealthy have relied on private jets to travel with utmost safety, assuring the speedy economic recovery of private jet companies. Meanwhile, commercial airlines are still struggling to carry on as traffic plummets 65-70% from pre-pandemic levels.
“2020 was the beginning of a big democratization for us,” Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up’s founder and CEO told CNBC. “We saw so many new people who had never flown private before actually pick up and either join Wheels Up or come on to the platform and fly.”
Wheels Up will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “UP.”