12-Apr-2021 Source: Wheels Up
Wheels Up, the leading brand in private aviation, 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.”