VistaJet To Expand Global-series Fleet in $7.8B Deal

 - November 27, 2012, 11:35 AM
Shown at an event in London today are from left to right, Bob Horner, senior vice president, sales, Bombardier Business Aircraft; Steve Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft; Thomas Flohr, founder and Chairman, VistaJet; and Ian Moore, chief commercial officer, VistaJet.

VistaJet announced a deal today worth up to $7.8 billion for 56 Bombardier Globals, with options for up to another 86. Deliveries of this latest batch of Bombardier jets under firm order are due to begin in January 2014 and run through the end of 2017.

According to the companies, the aircraft covered by the new contact consist of 25 Global 5000s, with options for 40 more; 25 Global 6000s, with options for another 40; and six Global 8000s, along with an equal number of options. The new aircraft will be deployed in growth markets, including Russia, China, the Middle East and Africa. Block charter operator VistaJet will also be looking to start tapping the U.S. market by offering intercontinental flights for clients on the East and West coasts.

Later this week, VistaJet will begin a 17-city tour of the Middle East, Central Asia and the Far East. In January, it will start another tour of 17 countries throughout Africa.

VistaJet recently took delivery of the 50th aircraft in its all-Bombardier fleet and around 30 of these are in service today. From four previous deals signed with the Canadian airframer, the operator is still due to receive 11 Learjet 85s and seven Global 6000s next year and a mix of Global 7000s and 8000s in 2017. The average age of the fleet is just under two years, and the company replaces jets after three or four years with 12 to 18 months remaining on their warranties.

VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr told AIN that all new aircraft purchases are being funded from cash flow and that the company has been achieving year-on-year flight revenue growth of around 25 percent in every year since it was launched seven years ago. He indicated that he remains the sole shareholder, with some debt held by banks.