30 Mar Press Release – Wheels Up Partners with Tropic Ocean Airways to Add Last-Mile Travel Options and Deliver Shorter Range, Unique Travel Offerings
Strategic partnership and minority investment expands travel options for Wheels Up members and supports Tropic Ocean’s continued growth and expansion
NEW YORK – Wheel Up Experience (NYSE: UP) today announced a new strategic partnership and minority investment in Tropic Ocean Airways, the world’s largest amphibious airline and leading provider of last-mile private charter and scheduled service in Florida, the Northeastern United States, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and beyond.
The multiyear commercial agreement is the latest step by Wheels Up in its efforts to expand the addressable market for its product offerings and offer a seamless first- to last-mile travel solution for its members and customers. The agreement provides for the integration of Tropic Ocean’s charter and certain scheduled by-the-seat services into Wheels Up’s marketplace, and Wheels Up members and customers will be able to directly book and pay for travel on Tropic Ocean flights through their normal Wheels Up booking channels.
The parties will initially focus on providing Wheels Up customers with greater accessibility to options within Tropic Ocean’s current coverage area. Over time, the parties intend to expand to additional markets in the United States and the Caribbean.
Tropic Ocean operates a single fleet type, late model Cessna Caravan EX aircraft. Tropic Ocean operates two variants of the Caravan, amphibious and wheeled. Amphibious models are capable of interchangeably landing and taking off from the water or a runway, unlocking access to destinations otherwise not accessible by conventional aircraft. Operated by two pilots and carrying up to 9 guests, these aircraft are ideal for trips of 250 miles or less.
Together with the commercial agreement, Wheels Up also announced a minority capital investment in Tropic Ocean, a first for Wheels Up, to help fund the continued growth for Tropic Ocean and to support certain shared initiatives under the commercial agreement, including the introduction of new flight offerings that will be exclusive to Wheels Up customers.
“Tropic Ocean is a leader in providing short-range airlift solutions in urban areas, remote locations and markets with limited airport access or otherwise challenged with last-mile connectivity”, said Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter. “Tropic Ocean delivers a strong geographic and product fit as the locations they currently serve are very popular with our members and with an aircraft type that extends the range and access capability of our existing fleet. They are already a Wheels Up safety vetted and verified partner that shares our commitment to customer service, and we look forward to giving our members new and exciting travel opportunities as Tropic Ocean continues to expand.”
Founded in 2009, Tropic Ocean operates a fleet of wheeled and amphibious aircraft and serves more than 70 destinations through private and shared charters.
“Wheels Up is a clear leader in private aviation, and we’re excited to partner with them in offering even more seamless travel options to their members and customers,” said Tropic Ocean CEO Rob Ceravolo. “This partnership will also help us extend the reach of our existing products, invest in our operational capabilities, and expand our offerings to more places and more service types.”
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up Experience (NYSE: UP) is the leading provider of “on demand” private aviation in the United States and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Powered by a growing marketplace of more than 1,500 safety-vetted and verified aircraft, Wheels Up is the only company in the industry to offer a total private aviation solution that includes a relentless focus on safety and service, with flexibility across all types of aircraft, membership programs, corporate solutions, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales and commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines.
The Wheels Up App enables members and customers to search, book and fly. Wheels Up Connect, Core, and Business memberships provide enhancements such as flight sharing, empty-leg Hot Flights, Shuttle Flights, Shared Flights, signature Wheels Up Down events and exclusive member benefits from preeminent lifestyle brands. Wheels Up’s ongoing Wheels Up Cares program aligns with philanthropic organizations and initiatives that affect and matter to the company and its customers, members, stakeholders, families and friends. The Wheels Up Cares fleet comprises five custom-painted Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft, with each plane serving as a flying symbol for a specific social cause.
About Tropic Ocean
Tropic Ocean Airways, LLC is a United States certificated commuter air carrier and the leading provider of short-range airlift solutions in urban areas and remote locations. Founded in 2009 by United States Navy TOPGUN instructor, Tropic Ocean is the largest commercial amphibious airline in the world, servicing destinations throughout Florida, the Northeast, The Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Utilizing standard operating procedures based on the U.S. Military’s best practices, the airline is the recipient of the highly coveted ARGUS Gold rating for safety. To learn more about Tropic Ocean Airways, visit FlyTropic.com and on Instagram at @FlyTropic.