Wheels Up Experience Inc. (NYSE: UP) announced the appointment of George N. Mattson as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mattson brings an impressive 25 years of experience in the aviation industry, having served as a strategic advisor, financier, business owner/operator, and director.
Mattson will be based in Atlanta, where Wheels Up has recently established its state-of-the-art Member Operations Center, centralizing all of the company’s operational functions. His official start date is anticipated to be in early October.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian expressed his confidence in Mattson’s appointment, while Dan Janki, Wheels Up Chairman and Delta’s Chief Financial Officer, shared his anticipation to work with Mattson.
Notably, Mattson has been a longstanding member of Delta’s Board of Directors. He previously served as a partner and co-head of the Global Industrials Group in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he oversaw the Transportation and Airline practices. Since 2014, he has held the role of lead investor and Chairman of Tropic Ocean Airways, the nation’s largest seaplane operator—a key partner of Wheels Up.
Wheels Up had previously announced a non-binding agreement in principle for a facility of up to $500 million, which is expected to include contributions from Delta Air Lines, CK Opportunities Fund I, LP (co-managed by affiliates of Certares Management LLC, and Knighthead Capital Management LLC), and other lenders. The transaction is contingent upon finalizing definitive documentation, customary closing conditions, and obtaining necessary approvals.
Wheels Up, renowned for its membership-based and on-demand private jet services, holds a significant place in Delta’s extensive portfolio of premium partners. This relationship was established in 2020 when Delta Private Jets merged with Wheels Up. Wheels Up members enjoy various benefits courtesy of Delta, including access to Delta flights, the opportunity to earn Delta SkyMiles, and the ability to earn Medallion Status through spending on Wheels Up flights.
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