Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter to be Honored at 17th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards for Democratizing the Private Aviation Industry
Serial entrepreneur and renowned business executive, Dichter will be presented with the Eren Ozmen Entrepreneur of the Year Award for bringing innovation, technology and a disruptive force to the private aviation industry
NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up, a leading private aviation company, will receive the "Eren Ozmen Entrepreneur of the Year Award" at the 17th Annual "Living Legends of Aviation Awards" tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Dichter is being recognized for his groundbreaking entrepreneurial achievements. The star-studded event, hosted by actor and aviation enthusiast John Travolta, honors those who have made significant contributions to aviation and aerospace. Dichter follows other notable award winners including past recipient Elon Musk.
In 2013, Dichter founded Wheels Up, which has become the fastest-growing brand in the industry and expanded the addressable private aviation market. Dichter's vision for creating a solution that would leverage pent up demand at a lower price point and with guaranteed access, led to the placement of the largest order in history for turboprops. In just over six years, under Dichter's leadership, Wheels Up, through its membership programs, innovative features and cutting edge-technology, has achieved an enterprise valuation of over $1.5B, sold 8,000+ memberships, owns and manages a fleet approaching 200 private aircraft and employs over 1,000 people across the U.S.
"I'm honored to be receiving the Eren Ozmen Award following the long line of accomplished entrepreneurs who have received this prestigious award before me, and I hope that it inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas to dream big," said Dichter. "Wheels Up's tremendous growth is a testament to our incredible employees as well as our investors and partners. Together, we've created a brand that will continue to lead the market."
With the December 12, 2019 announcement of Wheels Up's groundbreaking partnership with Delta Air Lines, and its agreement to combine with Delta Private Jets, Wheels Up is committed to creating unparalleled travel experiences in both private and commercial aviation.
As an innovator known for reimagining the private aviation space, Dichter is now leading the digitization of the industry through the development of a technology platform that aligns with his pioneering vision of making private flying and the private flying lifestyle accessible to millions of individuals and businesses in the US and around the world.
In 2001, Dichter co-founded Marquis Jet, introducing the first-ever fractional jet card program, which transformed the private aviation industry and the way private aviation is purchased. Marquis, over the course of a decade, generated over $5 billion in revenue, culminating in its 2010 sale to NetJets, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
In 2010, Dichter co-founded Tequila Avion, an ultra-premium brand acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2014 for over $100 million. Dichter's career began at the University of Wisconsin, where he started Bucky's, a clothing store that quickly became popular with students on campus. After graduating, Dichter co-founded Alphabet City, a sports-marketing and music company that was sold to SFX Entertainment in 1998.
Dichter chairs the Council of Advocates at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, working with Dr. Ken Davis, Mount Sinai's Chairman and CEO, and serves on the Board of the Jack Martin Fund, working with the pediatric oncology department.