“Our management team has worked diligently to establish a strong foundation for us to intelligently grow Airshare, and this potential acquisition is a direct result of those efforts,” says president and CEO John Owen. “Aircraft management has become a core source of revenue for us. Adding aircraft capacity and valuable owner relationships to our rapidly expanding managed fleet positions us very well for the future.”
Over the past 23 years, Airshare has offered a full suite of private aviation solutions, including days-based fractional ownership and Embark jet cards, aircraft management, charter services and third-party maintenance. It has significantly extended its geographic footprint, including its recent expansion into Chicago and south Florida. With this potential acquisition, Airshare would have aircraft management customers nationwide, setting the stage for faster growth in aircraft management, fractional and charter programmes and continuing the company's long-term expansion plans.
“One aspect that sets us apart from other private aviation companies is the access Airshare customers have to our complementary services,” says Owen. “If interested, aircraft management customers can generate revenue by chartering their aircraft to our established base of fractional and charter customers. We also have many aircraft owners who own fractional shares or Embark jet cards to provide them with supplemental lift. We're excited for every aircraft owner to experience everything Airshare has to offer.”
In May 2021, Airshare entered the super-midsize segment with an order for up to 20 Challenger aircraft with Bombardier. Then in July this year, it placed an order for a further 20 Challenger 3500s, a firm order for four and an option for 16 additional units.
Wheels Up chairman of operations Dave Holtz says: “Airshare has our same dedication to the customer and focus on extraordinary service, and we believe this will be a great destination for our managed fleet and team. As we looked for a strong partner, Airshare's commitment to aircraft management and overall customer experience stood out.”
Founded in 2013, Wheels Up went on to make a series of acquisitions, among them TMC Jets, Avianis, Gama Aviation Signature, Delta Private Jets and Mountain Aviation. It listed on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2021, but just two years later many executives had departed and many millions of dollars had been lost.