Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter Looking To Make Private Aviation Like Uber

Bill Carmody, Founder and CEO of Trepoint, recently interviewed the CEO of Wheels Up Kenny Dichter about his vision to make make private aviation like Uber.  While the video is a fairly long by today's standards - it is over 21 minutes in length - there are many interesting takeaways from the interview.

"With the Wheels Up business model, there are millions of people who can now fly privately," said Kenny Dichter.  Of course the Wheels Up business model does include a membership fee and 24 hours advanced notice but, for the first time, we are finally seeing pricing parity with this mode of transportation and a first class seat on a commercial airline.  Are the major airlines taking notice?

Wheels Up operates the King Air 350 - the "SUV" of private aviation.
As noted in the interview and previous JetGuide posts, Wheels Up is not the only company working to bring the "membership economy" to private and business aviation. Companies like BlackJet, Rise and Skyuber are also investing significant resources to bring private aviation to the masses. Will modern day apps, mobile technology and an updated business model keep these new players from becoming the next DayJet?

Kenny seems to make a compelling argument that Wheels Up will continue to thrive where others have failed: "Nobody has to own anything anymore and nobody wants to take residual risk on airplanes and own the asset. It's not like real-estate. Airplane values go down like car values every year. It's why the leasing business got so big." He further added..."With the Wheels Up business model, there are millions of people who can now fly privately." For the sake of anyone who has ever wanted to fly privately, let's hope that Wheels Up continues to be successful.

Source: Inc.

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