Since entering the U.S. market in 2014, VistaJet (Booth C10018) has experienced "unexpectedly strong growth." The membership charter firm was started in Europe 14 years ago by chairman Thomas Flohr with one Bombardier Learjet 60; it now has a fleet of 72 Bombardier Challenger 350s and Global 5000s.
The number of U.S. program members has increased three-fold year-over-year, with new program hours increasing by 145 percent; flight departures were up 30 percent in the third quarter versus the same period last year; and third-quarter program hours were up 210 percent from a year ago.
Due to this growth, “We will be increasing our U.S. fleet by 50 percent in the next few months,” said VistaJet U.S. president Ron Silverman. According to Silverman, this would be achieved by moving aircraft from other regions. “At present, we use foreign aircraft [registered in Malta, VistaJet’s base] to fly U.S. customers, but we will re-register some aircraft because foreign-registered aircraft can’t pick up and drop passengers in the U.S.”
Silverman said the U.S. market is “phenomenal” at the moment, while Asia is strong, particularly India. Meanwhile, Africa “is not doing very well,” so the company does not need so many aircraft operating there.
The company is also planning a tour of six U.S. cities with one of its Global 5000 “to allow prospective clients to try the VistaJet experience.” The tour will take place October 16 to 23, and the aircraft will visit Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and New York.
The company recently secured equity investment from Rhône Capital of $150 million, at a share that valued the company “in excess of” $2.5 billion. Silverman, who described VistaJet as “a new alternative to fractional ownership,” said it’s now a question of building customer numbers rather than adding more aircraft to the worldwide fleet. “We’ll analyze that as we grow,” he said, but he said the capital had enhanced the company’s credibility.