October 16, 2017
Kenny Dichter, Founder & CEO of Wheels Up, discusses the company's recent $200 million funding round. He says that, with the money, Wheels Up is going to expand social aviation and the ways in which it can connect members. In addition, Wheels Up will keep pounding growth in North America; the company is going to add more planes to the fleet over the next year. He talks about the cost structure and what a flight to Seattle would cost...around $30,000! He says, "CEOs like us, but CFOs love us" because of the cost efficiency. The company allows customers to charter planes for flights anywhere in North America. Members can reserve flights within 24 hours, or even less if they're part of the highest tier. With the latest funding round, the company has a $1 billion enterprise valuation. Dichter says he's created a disruptive business model, considering customers as "members." And, he says, the membership economy is alive and kicking. Dichter says the recent funding round could also open the door to expand its business in Western Europe, where the typical flight is only 2 hours in length.