Subscribe Free
in Business Aviation / Features

Vista's view: We are your flexible friend

Posted 7 March 2018 · Add Comment

Middle East customers are shifting away from fractional and full aircraft ownership towards charter, according to leading business aviation company VistaJet. Dave Calderwood reports.

A 50% increase in the number of Middle East customers has driven a doubling of the number of flying hours bought over the year – and VistaJet predicts more growth to come.
“Our growth here over the past 12 months has been pretty good,” said chief commercial officer Ian Cooper. “We’ve grown the customer base 50% and it’s been more diverse – we’re booking in more places like Kuwait, Qatar and Egypt, and the UAE has become a very big part of what we’re doing.
“We’re not new entrants into the Middle East but there are so many pockets within the region where we can grow. So the region is a very exciting place for us. We’ve been here for a while so our brand is getting better known and, as most of our customers come from recommendations from our current customer base, we’re seeing this multiplier effect.”
One of those pockets is Saudi Arabia, where VistaJet is to start direct operations this year. The kingdom already accounts for 39% – the largest share – of the company’s Middle East customers, followed by the UAE with 30%, and Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt with 7% respectively. Saudi Arabia has even more potential for growth, particularly since VistaJet decided to abolish positioning fees around the globe – so far it’s the only global operator to make such a move.
“We are leading the industry and relentlessly strive to deliver an unparalleled global service to our customers,” said Cooper. “With our extension to operate in and out of Saudi Arabia, this will further enable business leaders to travel seamlessly throughout the Middle East and to the rest of the world.”
Globally, the company connects with more than 1,600 airports, including 68 in the Middle East. Dubai is the top destination, connecting with Moscow, London, Nice and Mumbai, the highest traffic drivers. Global companies launching business subsidiaries in the Middle East is one reason for the growth in the region, with 70% of private aviation flights for business purposes.
Even though the flights may be for business, high levels of service are still required, says Cooper. “VistaJet tailors each flight to customers’ needs. Aircraft need to able to serve as an office in the sky for customers who want to prepare for meetings and maximise productivity. Additionally, a cabin hostess trained by the British Butler Institute on every flight ensures customers receive an exceptional service, from in-flight entertainment to exclusive menus curated by the world’s most renowned chefs.”
Last year, a digital membership package – VistaJet Direct – was launched. It gives customers priority access to available one-way and empty leg flights via the company’s app and website.
Further developments are planned and, with a recent $150 million investment from Rhône Capital, valuing the Malta-based company in excess of $2.5 billion, VistaJet has a large war chest ready for expansion.
It would appear to be a well-placed investment. At the end of November, VistaJet announced record results in its third quarter update, driven by continued demand for the company’s flagship program membership, with a 38% increase in revenue. The program segment achieved a record 32% increase of new hours flown compared to Q3 2016.
VistaJet’s distinctive fleet of silver and red business jets has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries worldwide since being founded in 2004 by Thomas Flohr, who said at the results conference: “Today’s record results are yet another milestone in VistaJet’s history and prove the global demand for our unique model and ability to shake up the business aviation industry. It is clear that in today’s on-demand economy, individuals want the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the VistaJet program.”
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Emirates anticipates peak arrivals period in upcoming weeks

Travel is expected to reach an all-time high in the upcoming weeks for Emirates, as the airline expects yet another busy period with travellers flocking into Dubai after the summer holidays and Eid breaks.

Ground handling industry failing to take the right action to solve talent and profit challenges

Recent research by RTITB Airside has found that airlines, airports and ground handlers are failing to take the right action when it comes to solving profitability and talent recruitment and retention challenges.

Etihad Airways most punctual Middle Eastern carrier in the first seven months of 2019

Etihad Airways was the most punctual Middle Eastern carrier in the first seven months of 2019.

MEBAA Show Morocco gearing up for September event

Business aviation exhibitors across the world are keen to take advantage of the region’s opportunities by promoting their products and services at the MEBAA Show Morocco, taking place 25-26 September at Marrakech Menara Airport.

DXB welcomes 41.3 million passengers in the first half of 2019

Dubai International (DXB) welcomed 41.3 million passengers in the first half of 2019, maintaining its position as the world’s largest international airport by traffic volume.

Pakistan and India Independence Days celebrated at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Visitors to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) from Pakistan and India were greeted by the green, white and saffron colours of their national flags, and steaming cups of Karak chai, to commemorate the Independence days of the two

BIDEC SK0108301019
See us at
DIAC19_BT264161119Dubai AS BT2006211119AVAFA20BT2607050320MEBCONBT1607240919BIDEC BT0108301019MEBAAMORBT2006260919