Believed to be largest general aviation propeller-driven aircraft order in history
Kaye Scholer represented the revolutionary new private aviation membership-based company Wheels Up in its placement of a nearly $1.4 billion order with newly reorganized Beechcraft Corp., formerly Hawker Beechcraft. The order is comprised of $788 million for up to 105 King Air 350i aircraft, as well as a $600 million contract for Beechcraft to serve as the comprehensive maintenance provider for Wheels Up in North America and Western Europe.
Beechcraft will deliver the first 35 King Air 350i aircraft to Wheels Up between now and mid-2015, with the first nine deliveries to be made in October 2013. The deal also includes options for 70 additional aircraft as Wheels Up expands nationally over the next two to three years.
Wheels Up was created and is led by Kenny Dichter, Founder of Marquis Jet and innovator of the first 25-hour fractional jet card. “Kaye Scholer was the perfect team to represent the deal between Wheels Up and Beechcraft given the firm’s industry expertise and acclaimed credentials,” said Mr. Dichter. “The newfound relationship with Beechcraft is one of many partnerships that further guarantees Wheels Up will redefine the entry point for private aviation. We are truly excited to offer the Beechcraft King Air 350i for the first time on an exclusive basis in a national fleet format.”
The Kaye Scholer deal team was led by Partners John Geelan, Michael Mulitz and Thomas Yadlon.
Kaye Scholer's Aviation Finance and Leasing Practice represents clients ranging from major aircraft operating lessors, aircraft and engine manufacturers and their leasing/finance subsidiaries, and other aircraft financiers and airlines around the world. Many of these transactions have international implications involving either non-U.S. investors in the United States and abroad or U.S. investors abroad. The firm has a broad-based domestic and international aircraft leasing and financing practice, with experience in all types of aircraft and related equipment, including commercial, cargo, regional and business jet aircraft, aircraft fractional ownership programs and engine and parts financings. Our lawyers have been involved in transactions ranging from lease and debt financings and acquisitions of numerous aircraft, aircraft engines and parts, including operating leases, single investor leases, leveraged leases, mortgage financings, conditional sales, and cross-border leases.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is a revolutionary membership-based private aviation company that eliminates fixed costs and provides unparalleled flexibility created and led by Kenny Dichter, the founder of Marquis Jet and innovator of the first 25-hour fractional jet card. Wheels Up has developed proprietary cutting-edge applications and offers unrivaled personalized service, providing members with a unique high-tech and high-touch experience. With a modest initiation fee and reasonable annual dues, Wheels Up is designed to appeal to individuals and corporations currently flying privately, as well as new entrants to private aviation. Wheels Up has forged an exclusive partnership with Beechcraft to offer members closed fleet access to Beechcraft King Air 350i for the first time redefining the entry point for private aviation. With an 8,760-hour culture (referencing the number of hours in a year), Wheels Up membership includes Wheels Down, a corresponding lifestyle concierge service engaging members off the tarmac, through exclusive offerings such as special programs around major sporting events (e.g. The Masters golf tournament and the Super Bowl), intimate concerts with top performers, culinary experiences with some of the world’s top chefs, meet-and-greet opportunities with entertainers, politicians, and business luminaries. Wheels Up will act as agent for the Wheels Up members, and is not the operator of the program aircraft; FAA licensed and DOT registered air carriers participating in the program will exercise full operational control of the program aircraft. Any aircraft owned by Wheels Up will be dry leased to the operating air carrier to facilitate operations by that carrier. For additional information, please visit www.WheelsUp.com, or call 212-257-5252.
About Kaye Scholer LLP
Founded in New York in 1917, Kaye Scholer combines the continuity and business acumen of a century-old law firm with a forward-looking, tech savvy, results-driven approach focused around lasting client relationships. With industry strengths in life sciences, financial services, technology, real estate and energy & infrastructure, Kaye Scholer offers strategic guidance and legal services to public and private entities facing litigation, transactional or governance challenges. Kaye Scholer’s lawyers regularly advise on matters across multiple legal jurisdictions, including in the US, Canada, UK, EU, China and Japan.
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PR & Communications Manager Kaye Scholer
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