NEW YORK, April 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Wheels Up, the leading brand in private aviation, today announces an initiative with Bell Textron, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, to lead the industry both in short- and long-term solutions with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The collaboration between the industry leaders will set a new standard in addressing the growing demand for convenient intra-urban travel from/to city-centers and regional airport helipads.
The new initiative demonstrates a shared commitment to innovation and the expansion of the Wheels Up total aviation solution portfolio by providing VTOL transportation products and services. The initial list of high-demand markets are under review with an expected launch of service in 2021.
The introduction of VTOL transportation in the select markets will add to the seamless travel experience along the entire travel journey for the Wheels Up Members and Customers. This initiative will also enhance air travel flexibility and reduce vehicular congestion, while enabling Wheels Up and Bell to actively explore innovation opportunities to reduce overall environmental impact.
The collaboration with Bell, which has designed, certified, and manufactured commercial and military aircraft for more than 85 years, will enable Wheels Up Members and Customers to travel via Bell's industry-leading VTOL aircraft across a number of intra-city markets. Bell is a global leader in VTOL, and the engineering, technical expertise, and track record of the team at Bell is unsurpassed in the industry.
"We are always looking for different ways and new features to enhance the services we provide to our Members and Customers and this is a logical evolution of our systematic disruption of the aviation industry, and a vision to extend our holistic approach to air transportation," said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up. "Our strategic initiative with global innovation leader Bell is focused on serving our Members' and Customers' travel needs using our leading-edge Avianis Flight Management System technology platform for helicopter service."
"Bell is proud to join with Wheels Up to make this cutting-edge travel solution a reality," said Mitch Snyder, President and CEO, Bell. "We have a history of setting new standards within the industry and utilizing our ability to deliver flexible travel solutions to market. We are excited to work with a company like Wheels Up to display the convenience of helicopter-based travel."
Wheels Up also plans to provide this connectivity and new transportation option to customers of Delta Air Lines, an existing partner. Currently, Wheels Up Members and Delta customers can travel seamlessly using private and commercial options and will be able to select VTOL as another solution in their travel journey.
"We must challenge the status quo as we envision the future of travel," said Bill Lentsch, Delta Air Lines Chief Customer Experience Officer. "We look forward to our customers being able to take advantage of the latest innovations from Wheels Up."
About Wheels Up Wheels Up, the leading brand in private aviation, is the only company in the industry to offer a total private aviation solution that includes world-class safety, service, and flexibility through on-demand flights, membership programs, corporate solutions, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales, and commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. Wheels Up, which was founded and is led by renowned entrepreneur Kenny Dichter, is uniquely positioned to offer its Customers and Members access to over 1,500 safety-vetted and verified aircraft.
Through the Wheels Up App anyone can search, book, and fly. Wheels Up Connect, Core, and Business memberships provide enhancements such as flight sharing, empty-leg Hot Flights, Shuttle Flights, Shared Flights, signature Wheels Down events, and exclusive member benefits from preeminent lifestyle brands. The Company's ongoing Wheels Up Cares program aligns with philanthropic organizations and initiatives that affect and matter to the Company and its Customers, Members, stakeholders, families, and friends. The Wheels Up Cares fleet is comprised of five custom painted Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft; each plane serves as a flying symbol for a specific cause.
About BELL Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we've been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.
We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA's first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we're defining the future of on-demand mobility.
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.
Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.
About Textron Inc. Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that the parties do not reach definitive agreements related to the initiative, the risk that the launch of VTOL services does not occur in the timeframe and in the manner anticipated and other risks related to launching an innovative aviation program.