WheelsUp Rescue Deal Closes


The $500 million bailout of WheelsUp Experience by Delta Air Lines and three other companies closed on Sept. 20. Delta ends up with 95 percent of the company and contributions from Certares, a tourism and travel company; Knighthead, which specializes in restructuring and turnarounds; and Cox Enterprises. The deal was announced a couple of weeks ago with WheelsUp on the brink of bankruptcy. It closed a couple of days after the announcement of George Mattson as the new CEO.

“This investment represents both an important source of capital for Wheels Up to support our strategy for financial stability, future profitability and long-term growth on behalf of our members and customers, as well as a vote of confidence in our path forward from a group of investors with deep experience in the premium travel space,” Mattson said. A new board of directors will be formed with a total of 12 directors, four of them from Delta, two each from Certares and Knighthead, an executive from WheelsUp and two members of the old board.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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