The WNBA Announces Details of New Charter Flight Program

Earlier this week, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert revealed that the league would institute a charter flight program for players beginning this season. The league tips off its regular season on Tuesday, May 14.

“The goal is to provide a full-time charter flight service for the upcoming season,” Engelbert stated during a meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE). “The logistics are being finalized as quickly as possible.”

Engelbert expressed her excitement about the launch of the full charter program.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of a full charter program as soon as practical for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, a testament to the continued growth of the WNBA,” she said in a release.  “We have been hard at work to transform the business and build a sustainable economic model to support charter flights for the long term. While we still have a lot of work to do to continue to execute our strategic plan, we feel confident that the time is now to institute a full charter program to demonstrate our commitment to leading with a player-first agenda.”

The program will be primarily managed by Delta Air Lines, a leading sports charterer. The airline’s CEO, Ed Bastian, shared his enthusiasm about partnering with the WNBA in this historic advancement for women’s professional sports.

“It’s exciting to add the WNBA to our prestigious roster of sports charter partners as we participate in this historic advancement in women’s professional sports,” he said. “We’re looking forward to providing the WNBA with the welcoming, caring and elevated service that Delta people have made famous.”

The policy change, which allows and provides for charter travel across all teams starting from the 2024 season, has been warmly received by the players. Seattle Storm forward and WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike expressed her appreciation for the long-awaited move.

“I am thrilled to see a significant change in policy that will permit and provide charter travel across all teams throughout the 2024 season and going forward,” Ogwumike said. “On behalf of the players, I express my appreciation and support for a bold move by the Commissioner and team governors that in turn shows that they understand and value the health and safety of the players. It is time to be transformational. It’s time to bet on women.”

The WNBA raised $75 million in capital in February 2022 and continues to make strides in its strategic plan.


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