Business aviation charter membership company VistaJet’s Program Membership hours have doubled this year in the Middle East, thanks to a 50 percent increase in program customers in the region. It has also received approval for “full flying service” in Saudi Arabia as the company’s expansion in the region continues.
“With clients buying more hours to meet their flying needs, VistaJet considerably surpasses the overall Middle East business aviation sector’s results, which is forecast to realize 9 percent growth this year,” said company founder and chairman Thomas Flohr. “With a growing demand for global travel in the Middle East, we foresee a continued increase in our customer base in the region.”
The company’s recent approval to operate to and from Saudi Arabia allows VistaJet more freedom to operate in and out of the country, which accounts for its greatest share of customers in the region, at 39 percent. “Saudi Arabia has even more potential for growth,” the Malta-based company said.
The United Arab Emirates is VistaJet’s second-largest market in the region, with a 30 percent share. Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt combined account for 21 percent of VistaJet’s MidEast business, split evenly among the three countries.
Sixty-eight of the more than 1,600 global airports that VistaJet’s all-Bombardier fleet—which includes Challenger 350s, 605s and 850s, as well as Global 5000 and 6000s—has flown into are in the Middle East. Dubai is the favorite destination for customers departing from Moscow, London, Nice and Mumbai, which are also the highest traffic drivers for the region.
Overall, private jet travel in the Middle East has increased in lockstep with the rise in companies launching subsidiaries in the region. “In the past five years, the Middle East has seen a major shift to corporate use and currently 70 percent of overall private aviation flights within the region are for business purposes,” VistaJet said.
Earlier this year, the company introduced VistaJet Direct, a digital membership giving customers priority access to available one-way and empty leg flights. It also secured $150 million investment from Rhône Capital in September, allowing VistaJet to capture even more market share by offering global coverage.