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.
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.
PR News Wire | September 01, 2023
SpiderOak, a leader in zero-trust cybersecurity and resiliency software for space systems, today announced the successful deployment and demonstration of its OrbitSecure technology aboard the International Space Station . This milestone, achieved using Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Snowcone edge computing device provided by Axiom Space, completes the next critical step in SpiderOak's plan to demonstrate increasingly complex orbital flight demonstrations.
On July 31, 2023 in cooperation with Axiom Space and AWS, SpiderOak's OrbitSecure software was uploaded to the space station. The system successfully demonstrated sending and receiving secure ops traffic between ground and low-Earth orbit. Communication to the space station was handled via the Tracking and Data Relay System (TDRS).
This successful demonstration positions SpiderOak as a critical enabler for the burgeoning new space economy, which heavily relies on the secure transfer of data and mixed workloads across hybrid platforms in space. For the first time, SpiderOak has validated the potential of containerized workloads in a space environment, demonstrating a secure, software-defined model applicable to the unique challenges of space operations.
"The future of space is undeniably software-defined," said John Moberly, SpiderOak's Senior Vice President for Space. "Our successful demonstration shows that it's not just possible, but effective and secure, to run containerized workloads in modern orchestrated environments with secure data channels from orbit to ground and vice versa."
This breakthrough opens immense potential to secure even the newest data intensive operations in space, including in-space manufacturing, scientific research, and commercial human spaceflight. Moreover, it lays the groundwork for creating orbital data centers.
As data centers extend into space, the need to secure communications, not only from the station to the ground but also within the data center itself, increases. SpiderOak's demonstration builds upon the company's foundational work with Ball Aerospace, addressing these necessities and cementing SpiderOak's position as a leader in securing mixed workloads across heterogeneous platforms.
"SpiderOak's innovative efforts contribute to reshaping the way we approach space networking," said Jason Aspiotis, Axiom Space Director of In-Space Infrastructure & Logistics. "The team's successful demonstration of OrbitSecure technology is a significant step toward building secure, dynamic, and scalable space communications and data processing infrastructures."
SpiderOak's successful demonstration also highlights the vast potential for government and commercial workloads, with secure orchestration for containerized tasks in space. As constellations grow and interconnect, new hardware can seamlessly join the mission, with older systems easily uploaded and integrated into new tasks.
"This represents a pivotal advancement toward a future where national security is maintained beyond the confines of our terrestrial defenses, reinforcing information assurance in an increasingly digitized and interconnected universe," said Charles Beames, Executive Chairman of SpiderOak. "We are paving the way to secure all space operations -- military, commercial and civil spaceflight – and scale at the speed of need through remote software deployment. More significantly, new commercial systems can combine with emerging U.S. Space Force platforms to make measurable improvements to secure our national defense."
SpiderOak is a 100% U.S.-owned and operated software company that delivers end-to-end cybersecurity and resiliency solutions for civil, military, and commercial space operations. Our commercially available products are built upon a foundation of zero-trust encryption and distributed ledger, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your most sensitive data in the space domain.
Businesswire | August 02, 2023
Veryon, formerly known as ATP, a leading provider of information services and software solutions for the aviation industry, recently announced the launch of Work Center, a new offering available in its robust lineup of industry-leading solutions.
As the only fully capable service center management solution designed for business aviation operators and management companies, Work Center allows aircraft operators to simplify the maintenance and return-to-service process with streamlined invoicing, reliable integrations and real-time airworthiness information — all in a unified platform. Aircraft operators can efficiently coordinate labor, parts and operational impact, resulting in smooth maintenance execution without any unnecessary delays or disruptions.
“Work Center is unlike any other maintenance execution solution out there,” said Kent Pickard, vice president of product management for Veryon. “We built the platform from scratch, specifically for business aviation operators, with one goal in mind: maximizing aircraft uptime. While most service center offerings were designed for stand-alone MROs, Work Center is purpose-built for aircraft operators so they can focus more on improving their operations, growing their business and ensuring accurate department billing and streamlined aircraft return-to-service process.”
This comprehensive solution optimizes aircraft availability through efficient logbook generation, detailed tracking of costs and labor, customizable workflows, pricing profiles and invoicing. Work Center is part of the Veryon Tracking platform, which combines maintenance tracking, flight operations, inventory management and technical publications in a single platform.
Teams that are completing a significant amount of in-house maintenance, particularly Part 135 operators in the business jet charter and management industry, can experience significant improvement in operations with Work Center.
"At Wing Aviation, Veryon Maintenance Tracking has been an integral part of our aircraft management workflow for many years,” said Jeremy Gee, chief executive officer of Wing Aviation. “We’re excited to participate in the growth of Work Center and look forward to leveraging it to efficiently manage our diverse charter fleet. Implementing Work Center has allowed us to consolidate our maintenance software into a single platform helping us to further simplify our processes, improve our clarity and continue the scalable growth of our business.”
Veryon is offering a free 30-minute webinar that includes a comprehensive exploration of Work Center’s key features on Thursday, Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. ET. The webinar will highlight Work Center’s ability to streamline and simplify the process of returning aircraft to service. Register here.
Veryon is the leading provider of aviation software and information services, supporting more than 75,000 aircraft maintenance professionals and 7,500 customers worldwide. We help everyone from business aviation teams and MROs to airlines and OEMs get their aircraft more uptime. Challenges like unscheduled repairs, part availability, and excessive paperwork lead to too many aircraft spending too much time on the ground. And that leads to needless delays, endless back and forth, and lots of wasted dollars. The key to more uptime is having a better technology platform to manage everything from maintenance and operations to manuals and diagnostics. That’s why thousands of aircraft operators, 25% of the worldwide commercial fleet, and over 100 OEMs all rely on Veryon. And it’s why customers have been able to achieve an average 23% reduction in downtime cost. Veryon. Let’s get you more uptime.