Wheels Up | September 26, 2023
Wheels Up Experience (NYSE: UP) today announced that it has closed the previously announced investment by Delta Air Lines, Certares Management LLC, Knighthead Capital Management LLC and Cox Enterprises.
The new investment structure combines the experience of Delta, the No. 1 premium airline, with the travel and tourism focus of Certares and turnaround and restructuring experience of Knighthead. It includes an agreement for a $500 million credit facility to Wheels Up, with funds contributed by Delta and CK Wheels LLC, which is co-managed by affiliates of Certares and Knighthead, and Cox. The announcement follows last week's selection of George Mattson as the company's 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. "We look forward to working closely with Delta and our other investors to deliver best-in-class operating performance and an exceptional customer experience which, as we deepen our commercial partnership, will also enable us to provide a one-of-a-kind seamless connection between private and premium commercial travel."
"Wheels Up is an integral part of Delta's portfolio of premium partners, and this deep relationship offers a significant opportunity to deliver compelling benefits to our customers that are unique in the travel space," said Dan Janki, Wheels Up Chairman and Delta's Chief Financial Officer. "This investment and new leadership puts Wheels Up on a strong path to future success."
The credit facility is comprised of a $350 million term loan funded at closing from Delta, CK Wheels LLC and Cox and a $100 million revolving credit facility from Delta. The terms of the credit agreement permit a new lender to provide a $50 million term loan after the closing date, as approved by Delta, Certares, Knighthead and Cox, and it is anticipated this additional funding will close in the near term.
In connection with the closing of the credit facility, the lenders will initially receive newly issued Wheels Up common stock representing 80% of the company's outstanding equity as of the closing of the credit facility, on a fully diluted basis. After approval by Wheels Up's stockholders of an amendment to its certificate of incorporation, the company will issue to the lenders additional new shares such that the lenders will own 95% of the company's outstanding equity as of the closing of the credit facility, on a fully diluted basis.
Wheels Up also announced a new structure for its Board of Directors. Under the new structure, Delta Air Lines will appoint four directors, Certares and Knighthead each will appoint two directors, and Cox will appoint one director. In addition, one company executive will join the Board and two independent directors are expected to remain from the previous Board.
The parties were assisted in the transaction by a number of strategic advisors, including: Davis Polk, Jefferies LLC, Kirkland & Ellis and PJT Partners.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is a leading provider of on-demand private aviation in the U.S. and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Wheels Up offers a complete global aviation solution with a large, modern, and diverse fleet, backed by an uncompromising commitment to safety and service. Customers can access membership programs, charter, aircraft management services and whole aircraft sales, as well as unique commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. Wheels Up also offers freight, safety and security solutions and managed services to individuals, industry, government, and civil organizations.
Wheels Up is guided by the mission to connect private flyers to aircraft, and one another, through an open platform that seamlessly enables life's most important experiences. Powered by a global private aviation marketplace connecting its base of approximately 12,000 members and customers to a network of approximately 1,500 safety-vetted and verified private aircraft, Wheels Up is widening the aperture of private travel for millions of consumers globally. With the Wheels Up mobile app and website, members and customers have the digital convenience to search, book and fly.
Defense and Space
Satcom Direct | August 04, 2023
Satcom Direct, the business aviation solutions provider, and Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. a worldwide leader in satellite networking technology, solutions, and services, have signed a strategic agreement to develop and supply new ultra-low profile electronically steered antennas (ESA) to support in-flight connectivity (IFC) for business, government, and defense. Available from 2025 and designed for optimized compatibility with the OneWeb low earth orbit (LEO) constellation, the hardware strengthens the Plane Simple® Antenna Series portfolio with the addition of the Gilat advanced ESA that will unlock the full broadband potential of OneWeb.
The collaboration will see Gilat develop the antenna system while Satcom Direct Avionics, the Canadian hardware manufacturing division of SD, will work with OneWeb to develop the SD Modem Unit to harness the full potential of the LEO constellation. To meet soaring data demands, customers will also benefit from the antenna’s full-duplex performance, a key capability in a small-form, power efficient device that allows data to be sent and received simultaneously.
This ESA terminal, including the radome, will aim to provide an industry-leading compact form factor (around 2.5in or 64mm) that will unlock the highest possible bandwidth from the OneWeb network. The addition to the Plane Simple antenna series reflects the SD agnostic philosophy, which enables customized connectivity solutions tailored for every mission requirement with a common terminal architecture, simplified upgrades, and flexible pricing plans.
Chris Moore, President at Satcom Direct, said: “We already have a strong relationship with OneWeb and have engaged with Gilat, due to their long SATCOM, aviation, and radio frequency pedigree, to create the next generation ESA in support of creating a solution that provides more options to our customers seeking reliable high-speed connectivity or additional redundancy. The ESA terminal will provide genuine global coverage and superior bandwidth performance, complemented by ease of installation. This most advanced terminal will also address customer requests to lower aircraft drag, weight and fuel burn. We’re excited to add this new state-of-the-art antenna from Gilat to our portfolio. We know customers will welcome the reality of the truly global coverage from such a small format terminal.”
“We are honored to have been selected by Satcom Direct to provide them with our expertise to develop this new ESA product,” said Adi Sfadia, Gilat CEO. “Together, we will create a next-generation ESA to support the dynamic connectivity demands of the global business aviation sector with a best-in-class antenna. The agreement gives us the opportunity to expand our proven technology know-how in commercial aviation and to showcase our expertise alongside Satcom Direct, the only company dedicated to delivering satcom connectivity to business and government aviation worldwide. It is a major milestone for Gilat as we extend our global IFC leadership in commercial aviation to business aviation, as well as into our strategic focus area in government and defense.”
Neil Masterson, CEO OneWeb adds, “The combined expertise of Satcom Direct Avionics, Gilat and OneWeb will deliver customers faster, more consistent broadband services across the globe. In the dynamic connectivity landscape, it is essential we team with premium partners, which is why we’re delighted to be part of this powerful offering as we reinforce our presence and service in the business aviation sector.”
About Satcom Direct
Satcom Direct (SD) is founded on a core belief in understanding the value of time and the importance of maximizing it. The company mobilizes the most cutting-edge technologies to enable connection wherever you might be. SD’s proprietary technologies span business aviation and government sectors, with the singular goal of leading connectivity industry standards.
Harnessing a powerful combination of tools, SD delivers consistent, reliable connectivity across the globe. Proprietary software, hardware, terrestrial infrastructure, cybersecurity solutions and award-winning customer support create tailored data services for each individual customer mission. The aim is to enhance the passenger and ownership experience, improve efficiencies and give back precious time by providing connectivity beyond all expectations.
SD World Headquarters is located at the heart of the Space Coast in Melbourne, Florida, with 14 additional locations in 11 countries, including the UK, UAE, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and Brazil, plus a hardware development and manufacturing base in Ottawa, Canada. For more information regarding SD, visit www.satcomdirect.com, e-mail email@example.com, or call U.S. +1.321.777.3000 or UK +44.1252.554.460
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. is a leading global provider of satellite-based broadband communications.With over 35 years of experience, we create and deliver deep technology solutions for satellite, ground and new space connectivity and provide comprehensive end-to-end solutions and services, powered by our innovative technology. We believe in the right of all people to be connected and are united in our resolution to provide communication solutions to all reaches of the world. Delivering high value solutions, our portfolio is comprised of a cloud-based platform and high performance satellite terminals designed to work in harmony with satellite constellations, including Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS) and Software-Defined Satellites (SDS) in multiple orbits; high performance Satellite On-the-Move (SOTM) antennas; and highly efficient, high-power Solid State Power Amplifiers (SSPA) and Block Upconverters (BUC).
businesswire | September 14, 2023
H2FLY, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Joby Aviation, today announced the successful completion of the world’s first piloted flight of a liquid hydrogen-powered electric aircraft.
H2FLY, acquired by Joby in 2021, continues to lead the industry on the development and testing of hydrogen aviation propulsion systems. The company completed a series of piloted flights with its HY4 demonstrator aircraft, including one that lasted more than three hours, fitted with a hydrogen-electric fuel cell propulsion system and liquid hydrogen that powered it for the entire flight.
The flights demonstrate the viability of using cryogenically-stored liquid hydrogen instead of gaseous hydrogen, which enables significantly lower tank weights and volume, leading to longer range. The successful installation and demonstration of flight with liquid hydrogen is believed to increase the range of H2FLY’s HY4 demonstrator aircraft from 466 mi (750 km) to 932 mi (1500 km), marking a critical step towards the long-term decarbonization of mid- to long-range aviation.
“H2FLY are pioneers in their field, and we’re proud of them achieving this watershed moment in the use of liquid hydrogen to power aircraft,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. “In the years to come, battery-electric and hydrogen-electric propulsion systems will enable us to build aircraft that are quieter and make mid- to long-range air travel possible with zero emissions. It’s critical we take action now and invest aggressively in these technologies for the health of our planet and future generations to come.”
The successful flights are the culmination of Project HEAVEN, a European-government-supported consortium assembled to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid hydrogen in aircraft. The consortium is led by H2FLY and includes the partners Air Liquide, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, and Fundación Ayesa.
Following this test flight milestone, H2FLY will increasingly focus on its path to commercialization. In June, H2FLY announced the development of its new fuel cell systems, which will be capable of providing their full power range at altitudes high enough to enable commercial hydrogen-electric aircraft, demonstrating real-world commercial aircraft applications.
Joby Aviation, Inc. is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing air taxi which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient service in cities around the world.