Owning a private jet is something many of us aspire to at one point or another in our lives. It is understandably a huge expense, from the initial purchase to running and ownership costs with little if no prospect of making a profit, as many aircraft suffer from depreciation the same way as cars. Only the super-rich really buy their own personal jets.
Instead there are a lot of private jet operators around who rent out their aircraft or have people buy shares in such companies in return for use of the jets. There are various businesses in action and even despite recent years of austerity and the financial crisis some, such as VistaJet, have managed to thrive.
Young Fleet and Company.
Founded just over a decade ago by Thomas Flohr and focusing mainly on Europe at first, VistaJet is a fairly new company to join the private jet sector. Looking to compete and also make a profit meant they couldn’t suddenly arrive and undercut the prices of all their rivals. In order to stand apart and bring something new to the table they avoided becoming another fractional private fleet where travellers must own a stake to use aircraft.
An hourly rate is set instead, which was mostly unheard of in the industry but proved popular as no asset risk is required by customers. VistaJet’s private fleet has an average age of just two years as well, reflecting its young age and providing quality for flyers.
The company haven’t been afraid to change their process to succeed either. Starting out with a fleet of 20 Learjet aircraft and making jointly over 18,000 flights, in 2015 they eventually switched to a fleet of 50 exclusively Bombadier business jets. This showed VistaJet were ready to adapt and grow to meet their increased demand and provide the best quality service to all their customers.
Having an exclusive fleet full of Bombadier aircraft, including 21 Global and 28 Challenger jets, means they possess the largest privately-owned fleet of Bombadier business aircraft in the world. This already sets them apart from competition and will help them further build on the current 70,000 plus flights made transporting over 165,000 passengers since 2004.
All good businesses know when to maximise any opportunity that comes along and VistaJet have done this on a few occasions, most recently partnering with Apex in an attempt to conquer China. Apex Air have their headquarters in China so rather than uproot or spend masses setting up a base there themselves, joining forces with them made much more business sense.
This allows VistaJet to fly internally in the country for the first time, opening up their business to millions of new customers. Using their B-registered Bombadier Challenger 850 jet with Apex running the service means it can land at more airports than other models. A 30% growth is expected for the Chinese market by the end of 2015 so now seems like a better time to introduce their service than ever.
As well as spreading their private jet services to China, VistaJet opened their North American headquarters earlier in late 2014 to truly compete with American private jet share schemes. A signal of intent, it also demonstrates the company’s global pull and how expanding rather than remaining focused in Europe has helped lead to their success.
The company have managed to receive such a positive response for their experiences previously flying through the USA which shows there is a demand for their services. Partnering with another company, this time the sales agent Wheels Up, helped ease the process. Further expansion, willingness to co-operate and provide quality services will see VistaJet continue to thrive into the coming years.
It is definitely a company to learn from as Flohr has always had a great way of approaching projects.