Thursday, August 1, 2013
Today, Beechcraft Corporation announced it has secured the largest general aviation propeller aircraft order in history.
Beechcraft has secured an order for up to a total of 105 King Air 350i aircraft, valued at $788 million, from Wheels Up, representing the largest general aviation propeller driven aircraft order in history.
Beechcraft has been named the aircraft and comprehensive maintenance provider for Wheels Up in North America and Western Europe, with the entire value of the deal totaling up to $1.4 billion.
The first 35 Beechcraft King Airs will be delivered to Wheels Up between now and mid-2015 with the first nine deliveries to be made in 2013. The deal includes options for 70 additional aircraft as Wheels Up expands nationally over the next two to three years.
The Beechcraft news release says "Wheels Up" is new membership-based private aviation program. Regarding Wheels Up, Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture tells KAKE news, "Their focus is opening up business aviation transportation to a new segment at a price point below that available in charter and fractional jets. And the King Air is ideal for that. It's operating costs are significantly lower. It's an obvious choice."
Boisture says the order won't bring any new hiring right now but will bring stability and sustainability to Beechcraft. He says Beechcraft is right sized now for the orders it has. He says this order will help Beechcraft meet its overall goals for 2013 as well as provide a good base for business the next two years.