Global Warming and Climate Change

Delta Partners with Wheels Up. Is the Democratization of Private Aviation Coming?


Commercial aviation and business aviation have always had a tangential relationship. Now, they’re about to intersect in a very meaningful way. Delta Air Lines and Wheels Up have entered into a partnership that brings the two arm-in-arm, offering charter services to a broader audience. It’s a move hailed as the democratization of private aviation, and it’s likely to have major effects on how private citizens, medium-sized businesses, and high-profile individuals experience air travel.

There’s something unconventional about the concept of “the world’s largest private jet fleet,” but the partnership between Delta and Wheels Up promises to be something out of the ordinary in and of itself. Beginning early this year, Delta customers will have the option to book a charter flight on any of the 190-private aircraft in the Wheels Up fleet. In doing so, they’ll get the luxury experience of private air travel, backed by the proven aviation operations of Delta: the world’s second-largest airline.

A match long in the making

It was only a matter of time before Wheels Up struck a deal with a commercial carrier to begin making private aviation more accessible. The company has been broadly touted as an innovator in the private charter space since 2013, and recently surpassed a billion-dollar valuation to become a top player in the sector.

Delta Air Lines makes the most sense as a suitor for the company. The company’s commitment to low fares jives with the mission to make private air travel more affordable. Delta’s reputation for customer service also makes it an attractive option for Wheels Up as it seeks mass exposure to travelers. Asset-wise, the partnership is even more attractive. Delta’s divestment of its Delta Private Jets (DPJ) subsidiary rolls 70 aircraft into the initial Wheels Up fleet of 115 jets, earning it the “largest in the world” moniker.

Most importantly for both companies, however, is Delta’s access to major hubs throughout the country. Delta’s largest hub is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, ideally located to launch private charters throughout the region. It also has prominent operating space at LaGuardia in New York, as well as Salt Lake City International Airport as the gateway to the West.

A look at the democratization of private aviation

With more customers having access to affordable charters at some of the nation’s most convenient hubs, who’s to stop everyday travelers from treating themselves to the high-class appeal of private aviation. The newlyweds on their way to their honeymoon. Established millennials willing to pay for privacy. Retirees who want to move at their own pace. The value proposition of affordable, accessible private charters is one that resonates with many groups.

The key to democratizing private aviation isn’t just lower rates — it’s the brand equity Delta brings to the table. It’s a name flyers trust. Connected to Wheels Up, it’s an opportunity to tap into a something beyond first class for the first time.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Climate Change and BizAv: Planning for a Future of Inclement Weather

Climate change is more than a political debate topic. It’s a headwind many industries have to face, regardless of which side of the political aisle they fall on. Weather is changing. Instances of severe and inclement conditions become more frequent with each passing year. For those in the aviation industry, it’s a trend that can’t be ignored.

The problem with weather

It’s not a surprise when flights are grounded due to a blizzard or when gale-force winds cause delays. In fact, planning for these conditions has become routine thanks to predictive meteorological technologies. Unfortunately, as our capability to predict weather has improved, the unpredictability of weather has started to outpace it.

It’s easy to predict a snowstorm a few days off. It’s not as easy to predict temperatures so hot they bring an entire airport to a standstill! And things are only getting worse. Issues such as high-altitude icing from subzero temperatures and violent thunderstorms at cruising altitudes are grounding more aircraft by the year. Worse still, these upper-altitude weather anomalies demand in-flight adjustments, impacting everything from designated flight paths to total airtime.

It’s easy to think about severe weather as hurricanes and blizzards. For aviation, inclement weather is anything unpredictable — which, these days, is a lot.

Weather’s effects on flight, on the ground and in the air

Battling back against the headwinds of inclement weather means looking at where it most affects aviation. The lion’s share of problems come before a jet even leaves the runway. However, there are also weather-related setbacks that need consideration in-flight.

  • Uncertain high-altitude weather conditions may ground flights out of precaution or dictate new routes, displacing optimal logistics and making flying more expensive.
  • Thinner air due to changing climate makes it harder for aircraft to generate lift. This means reducing weight to fly accordingly or paying higher fuel costs to get airborne.
  • Rising temperatures put major restrictions on regional jets’ ability to function after takeoff. This is why 119-degree temperatures were able to ground aircraft in Phoenix.
  • Airports located at or below sea level, near a body of water, may experience flooding that grounds aircraft. See LaGuardia’s past troubles with flood waters.
  • High-altitude temperatures are changing, strengthening the jet stream. This means more turbulence and rockier travel when conditions are less than ideal.

The ripple effects of these problems spread ever-outward. They all result in inconveniences, higher costs, skewed logistics, and other such problems.

Keeping aviation ahead of the weather

Beating the many obstacles of inclement weather takes a two-pronged approach. First, the aviation industry needs to pitch in against global warming and climate change. Second, private fliers must find flexibility within the charter model.

Private jet owners can do their part. If available, using biofuels to reduce emissions is a simple first step. Flight sharing is another, to reduce the number of total charters. Finally, using pilots with experience in fuel saving plays a critical role in reducing emissions.

Climate change is bigger than the aviation industry, but it has tremendous bearing on its trajectory. Realizing the dire need to adapt to more severe and inclement weather anomalies will help private jet owners be more conscious. In addition, it will offer small comfort as they try to understand why their flight is grounded yet again, even if the skies appear clear.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.