Marquis JetThe Marquis Jet
The Marquis Jet Founders launches wheels on the market
Marquis Jet founder have completed a $1.4 billion prospective transaction with Beechcraft to create a new "private member company", Wheels Up, which will be established around a King Air aircraft owned and operated by the Wichita-based Marquis Jet.... Beechcraft's contract - the biggest of its kind for a commercial turboprop aircraft group - comprises 35 King Air 350is orders with up to 70 additional options/contracts.
Kenny Dichter, CEO and Founding Director of Wheels Up, is confident that these choices will be necessary - and possibly extended in the near term as our member base grows. As part of the scheme, wheel up will be selling memberhips at an entry-level rate of $15,750, with $7,250 per year in renewals per year. In this case, the flying hours are calculated at pure hours without administration or other services charges.
As a member, you will have direct entry into King Airs' wheel-up airline and a number of other airline offers likely to extend from small jet airliners such as Learjets to Gulfstreams and other large corporate jetliners. Dichter says the King Air squad will be fully owned by Rolls-Up, but is planning to enter into arrangements with a number of carriers to provide jet service.
Noting that there are a few businesses that run large fleet corporate jet operations, most - if not all - of them were in talks with Wheels Up senior management to start this end of operations. Dichter expects the King Airs to become the operation of a regionalised privately owned airline that covers an area of 600-700 nm.
King Air's first cargo will be stationed in the northeast this year, but he anticipates expanding to the southwest and southeast by next year. The centre will perform servicing for the first northeast navy. Wheels Up is only one part of the overall scheme. As Dichter says, the business also wants to set up a Wheels Down facility that offers a range of brokerage and " experience " related to unique event, dining, meet-and-greet and other outcomes.
"Well, our services don't stop there. "He noted that this was a course Marquis Jet was just taking when they were selling the deal to NetJets. He' s hopeful that the firm will have up to 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2014 - and Dichter says these are only those with strong contacts to Wheel's Up managers.
According to the Businessplan, this number is expected to rise to over 10,000 within the next four to six years. Weels Up' Businessplan predicts that customers will be flying about 20-30 hours a year, with King Air making up between 30-40% of this total, he says. That may sound challenging, but Dichter and his crew have experienced as Marquis Jet founder in 2001.
Marquis Jet cards had earned $4 billion in sales by the date the company's founding poets among them NetJets used them. Following the sale of Marquis Jet, Dichter was appointed NetJets' current president for about a year, but retired in 2011 and remained as an envoy to the parliamentary property providers.
While with NetJets, he worked with Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture, who was NetJets Chairman. "I' ve always had my eyes on the King Air," says Dichter, and adds that Beechcraft, having emerged from Chapter 11 insolvency insurance as a more powerful firm, began working with Boisture again, along with Shawn Vick, who served as Chief Operating Officer of several corporate airframes with Landmark Aviation.
Whilst King Air was not the main model of other faction fleet, Poet says it is "a naturally complementary" to its local transport plan. Mr Vick says that it offers the same convenience as commercial jetliners, but can achieve more runways and has much better running cost.
King Air also has large salvage stocks, which have performed much better than those of corporate jet aircraft. That is an important consideration in funding the fleets, says Dichter. However, Dichter also has a number of Equity Partner in the company. For the King Air, the Wheels Up will feature a new interior, Wi-Fi connection and the optional toilet cabinet fitted to the 3Di.