Private charter provider VistaJet has expanded its fleet 12-fold over the past 10 years, having last month received its 100th aircraft to take the current total to some 60 Bombardier Globals and Challengers. The Europe-based company keeps its fleet young, with an average age of just under two years, and so has sold almost 40 aircraft to date. It started operations in 2004 with a Learjet 60 and in 2006 still had just five aircraft. Much of the growth has happened over the last couple of years, with 10 new aircraft joining the fleet in just 31 days last year.
Over the past 10 years, VistaJet as has flown 210,000 passengers to 1,500 destinations worldwide. Last year it carried 37,000 passengers.
Originally based in Austria, the operator is now headquartered in Malta, where 52 of its aircraft are registered. In 2008, it acquired Bombardier’s Skyjet International charter division. Its 750 employees are now spread across offices on four continents.
Since last year some of the VistaJet fleet is registered in China—a move that the company says has driven up Asian traffic by 30 percent. Last year also saw U.S. flight activity climb by 139 percent, following the company's entry into the North American market in 2014. VistaJet’s regular service area now covers 90 percent of the globe.
“In the current market where private [aircraft] ownership is becoming less and less of a viable option, it makes sense for customers to leave the asset risk and up-front capital costs to VistaJet,” commented chairman and founder Thomas Flohr. “Our clients simply pay for the time they spend in the air. No other operator can offer the same guaranteed global reach at fixed rates, and as little as 24 hours notice.”
To mark the 100-aircraft milestone the operator produced an infograpic to highlight 100 Things You Never Knew About VistaJet. Here are 10 of the highlights from that list:
- VistaJet flew around the world 679 times last year, averaging out to more than 13 times a week. One of its aircraft takes off every 36 minutes, and the fleet flies the equivalent of three return trips to the moon every month.
- The furthest south a VistaJet aircraft has flown is Ushuaia-Malvinas Argentinas Airport in Argentina. The furthest north is Svalbard in Norway. The highest airport VistaJet has operated out of was Inca Manco Capac in Peru at 12,552 feet (3,862 meters). The farthest flight to date was 6,386 nmi (11,819 km), the longest was Singapore to Nice in 13 hours 43 minutes, and the fastest was a 2,412-nm hop (4,436 km) from Napa to the Cayman Islands in 5 hours 5 minutes.
- VistaJet’s amenity kits are filled with raw organic products from California’s The Body Deli.
- VistaJet partners with MedAire to ensure that passengers and crew have access to medical care.
- All VistaJet cabin crew are exclusively trained by the world-renowned British Butler Institute in London. All crew receive WSET Level 2 training in wines and spirits. They all wear custom-designed Moncler spring and winter jackets. The team includes 50 different nationalities, the average age is 36 and half of them speak two or more languages. Wines are hand-picked by chairman Thomas Flohr, including vintage Dom Perignon champagne.
- VistaJet’s aircraft fragrance was designed by luxury perfumier Le Labo to compliment the cabin interior.
- VistaJet has its own branded caviar on board. It also has partnered with Japanese restaurant Nobu to create an exclusive inflight menu. It serves coffee in Christofle china.
- Cabin crew go through a five-step procedure to ensure that hot towels are perfect when each passenger boards. The VistaJet Ultimate Sky Sleep includes a special Skysleeper mattress, feather duvets, Egyptian cotton linens and cashmere blankets. The red roses on its aircraft are actually white but are dyed to ensure “perfect coloring.”
- VistaJet has a specially curated library of dozens of books selected by London-based bookstore Heywood Hill on its Globals.
- In 2013, VistaJet celebrated Easter by offering customers limited edition fine egg pendants from master jeweler Fabergé. The company later partnered with UK artist Ian Davenport and Fabergé to paint a custom Fabergé egg on the tail of one of its Global 6000s.