On Wednesday, July 14, Wheels Up became listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after announcing that it has officially closed a “business combination” transaction with Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp., a Cayman Islands exempted special purpose acquisition company. First day trading on the NYSE was strong for what is now known officially as Wheels Up Experience (NYSE: UP) when it saw volume of 6,953,356 shares changing hands. The stock opened at $11.08 and ranged from $9.32 to $15.00 before closing at $11.51.
Interest in UP was so intense on the first day of trading that the NYSE initiated two five-minute “Limit Up-Limit Down (LULD)” pauses because of the extreme volatility. A “LULD pause” is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule that means trading of a stock is briefly halted by the electronic systems when it exceeds a predetermined price range determined by supply and demand parameters. It is not uncommon for newly-listed stocks to draw so much volume that such pauses occur. Incidentally, the LULD pauses coincided with an appearance on CNBC by Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up founder and CEO.
The capital raised will accelerate investment in Wheels Up’s technology and product offerings, driving the company’s core global growth strategies and expansion of the Wheels Up Marketplace with membership and non-membership options.
In the first quarter of 2021, Wheels Up reported record year-over-year revenue growth of 68 percent to $261.7 million and a 56 percent increase in active members. Wheels Up’s growth is being driven by their “comprehensive total aviation solution” including membership programs, on-demand private flights across all cabin categories in over 1,500 safety-vetted and verified aircraft, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales, and corporate solutions. Members also have access to commercial aviation travel benefits through the Wheels Up strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines.
“Today is a special milestone for Wheels Up,” said Dichter. “Since our 2013 launch, it has been our mission to create a dynamic platform to democratize private aviation making it possible for significantly more people to experience private flying. We are honored to be a public company on the NYSE, and we look forward to taking our disruptive marketplace global.”
The addition of Wheels Up to the Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp. portfolio fits well into Aspirational’s mission to “identify and invest in innovative, premium brands to offer consumers experiences that fulfill their aspirations for a healthy, balanced and cosmopolitan lifestyle.”
As with all news regarding the purchase or trading of stocks, Flying makes no “forward-looking statements” here nor does this article constitute advice to buy, sell or trade Wheels Up stock shares. The listing was also too new for analysts to provide meaningful forecasts for the stock symbol.