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Charter/fractional operator Wheels Up reported in an earnings call today (May 9) that the company is “positioned for long-term profitable growth,” despite continued net losses and adjusted EBITDA numbers (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). As reported on the online news source Private Jet Card Comparisons, CEO George Mattson, who replaced company founder Kenny Dichter in September last year, and Chief Financial Officer Todd Smith cited several areas of progress for the company.

Among the most salient signs of optimism, the executives announced that customers who pay up front for future flights are guaranteed availability at contracted capped rates through assurances from Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian. Delta poured $500 million into Wheels Up last summer, staving off bankruptcy. Mattson, a former member of the Delta board of directors, recently quoted Bastion saying of Wheels Up, “We’re just getting started.”

Mattson cited several other positives for Wheels Up, including a 30% uptick in corporate block sales; 14% improvement in block sales across the board year over year to $114 million; Delta has established a sales team to pitch Wheels Up’s private flying to Delta’s 40,000 accounts—and relaunched its business travel jet card programs last year; and Wheels Up recently hired Southwest Airlines’ chief sales officer to be chief commercial officer for his new employer.

For more raw numbers, first quarter revenues this year were down to $197 million from $352 million in Q1 2023. This was offset by reduced Q1 expenses—to $280 million from $448 million year over year. The net loss for Q1 was essentially flat compared with last year at $97 million.

In good news for Wheels Up customers: The first quarter of 2024 included 27 days without any flight cancellations, including those it operates as a broker for third-party operators. Mattson called that the highest in more than two years “by far.” Wheels Up also matched its 98% flight completion rate and beat its on-time performance target by two points at 87%.

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