Gama Charters, the US subsidiary of UK-based business aviation services provider Gama Aviation, is at NBAA marking a successful 12 months as the operating partner of Wheels Up.
Since the membership-based programme began operations last October, Gama says it has recruited 156 pilots, flying a total of 37 aircraft including 23 Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops and eight Cessna Citation Excel jets.
Four more 350i’s are scheduled for delivery by the end of this year and another eight are expected to to join the Wheels Up fleet by June 2015. Two more Excels will also be added to the line-up by the end of December.
The New York-headquartered company launched in August 2013 with an order for up to 105 350i’s - the largest turboprop order in business aviation history. Currently, Wheels Up has over 750 members and anticipates passing 1,000 by year-end.
“We are supporting 40+ flights daily, flying Wheels Up members coast-to-coast, ” says Tom Connelly, president of Gama Charters.
Gama Charters' affiliate Gama Support Services has also grown in parallel, with three line maintenance facilities in Las Vegas, West Palm Beach, and Van Nuys added to the portfolio over the last 12 months to support the growth of Wheels Up. A sixth facility - in Dallas - will come on line this quarter, says Gama.