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Delta reels in Wheels Up for partnership
Delta Air Lines and Wheels Up are merging their owned and managed fleets of private aircraft with a view to improving accessibility in the private aviation industry and increasing travel options.
Ed Bastian is the ninth and current CEO of Delta Air Lines. When asked to sum up his job in five words, he says: “Taking care of our people.”

Delta Private Jets, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, has agreed to combine with Wheels Up in a partnership that will pair Wheels Up's membership programmes, digital platform and lifestyle experiences with Delta Private Jets' reliability, safety, service and scale. When the transaction closes, Wheels Up will have a fleet of more than 190 private aircraft and over 8,000 members and customers. Delta will also hold an equity position in Wheels Up.

“This groundbreaking partnership will democratise private aviation, making the convenience of private jet travel accessible to more consumers,” says Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Wheels Up's lifestyle experiences and innovative digital platform, combined with the scale and service of Delta Private Jets, helps further Delta's mission of connecting people and communities worldwide through travel. This agreement is the latest step in Delta's ongoing effort to build partnerships that extend Delta's brand beyond its core business.”

“Bringing together our complementary businesses, which represent the best consumer brands in private and commercial aviation, is transformative and a first for the industry,” adds Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter. “The combination of Wheels Up and Delta Private Jets, along with the partnership commitments between Delta and Wheels Up, aligns with our growth objectives and vision of building a platform that will make private flying and the private flying lifestyle accessible to significantly more individuals and businesses in the US and around the world.”

Dichter will continue to lead the Wheels Up senior management team and is committed to providing ongoing career opportunities for Delta Private Jets employees. The transaction is expected to close early next year.

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