Subscription-based global charter provider VistaJet has notched record new program members’ sales in the first half of 2021, up more than 300 percent over 2020’s first-half figures in the U.S., and 53 percent globally, VistaJet U.S. president Leona Qi told AIN at NBAA-BACE 2021.
Among corporate customers, the Malta-based company has seen a 49 percent increase over 2020 figures, and has launched a new Corporate Membership in response, offering “a full suite of flexible travel solutions for businesses and executives,” Qi said.
“Our goal is to be there for supplemental lift, not as a replacement,” for in-house flight operations, and to “open new opportunities.” Flying with VistaJet provides a “distinct advantage,” she said, as executives’ movements, unlike on their corporate fleet aircraft, “are not traceable—if they’re making a deal, their competitors will never find out.”
To help meet the growing demand, VistaJet has exercised all its options for its flagship Bombardier Global 7500. It is currently the only access provider operating the 7500. Four are in the fleet now, and six are anticipated by year-end. VistaJet also ordered 10 Challenger 350s late last year, with the first arriving by the end of this month. The additions will bring the company’s owned and operated large cabin, long-range jet fleet to 80 by month’s end, and 96 by the end of 2022.
Also helping boost business is the company’s greater name recognition in the U.S., where many corporate users already have trusted access providers.
“Those relationships have been in place for decades,” Qi said. “It costs millions of dollars to switch to our program—they’re flying thousands of hours—and concerns about safety, security, and confidentiality all come into play. We were the newcomer. Today we’re on our way.”
The company is focused on ensuring its growth remains globally balanced “to minimize empty legs” as its customers fly to all points around the globe.
Addressing demands for sustainability, VistaJet will be carbon neutral by 2025 via carbon offsets and SAF. More than 80 percent of customers already participate in its optional offset program, according to VistaJet. The company’s onboard luxury amenities are also produced sustainably, and it has a website dedicated to sustainability issues.
Qi began her career in asset-backed financing—as did Vista Group founder and chairman Thomas Flohr—on Wall Street, where she helped create business aircraft financing heavyweight Global Jet Capital.