Wheels Up Experience has closed the previously announced investment by Delta Air Lines, Certares Management, Knighthead Capital Management and Cox Enterprises.
The new investment structure combines the experience of Delta with the travel and tourism focus of Certares and turnaround and restructuring experience of Knighthead. It includes an agreement for a $500 million credit facility to Wheels Up, with funds contributed by Delta and CK Wheels, which is co-managed by affiliates of Certares and Knighthead, and Cox.
"This investment represents both an important source of capital for Wheels Up to support our strategy for financial stability, future profitability and long-term growth on behalf of our members and customers, as well as a vote of confidence in our path forward from a group of investors with deep experience in the premium travel space," says newly appointed CEO George Mattson. "We look forward to working closely with Delta and our other investors to deliver best-in-class operating performance and an exceptional customer experience which, as we deepen our commercial partnership, will also enable us to provide a one-of-a-kind seamless connection between private and premium commercial travel."
"Wheels Up is an integral part of Delta's portfolio of premium partners, and this deep relationship offers a significant opportunity to deliver compelling benefits to our customers that are unique in the travel space," says Dan Janki, Wheels Up chairman and Delta CFO. "This investment and new leadership puts Wheels Up on a strong path to future success."
Wheels Up also has a new structure for its board of directors. Delta Air Lines will appoint four directors, Certares and Knighthead each will appoint two directors, and Cox will appoint one. In addition, one company executive will join the board and two independent directors are expected to remain from the previous board.