Business aviation holding company Vista Global has entered an agreement to acquire US online charter marketplace JetSmarter, in a move designed to bolster and complement its growing portfolio of products.
Vista Global was launched in 2018 by Thomas Flohr – Swiss entrepreneur and founder of luxury charter company VistaJet – with the aim of "consolidating" the "fragmented but expanding" business aviation market.
Backed by $400 million in investments from private equity firm Rhone Group, the Dubai-headquartered venture owns four existing operations: Malta-based VistaJet; a new leasing arm called Vista Lease; US charter operator XOJET – acquired in September 2018 – and technology unit TechX.
Flohr says the purchase of JetSmarter was prompted by a long-standing relationship with XOJET for which it markets empty legs and provides digital charter sales on its fleet of 43 Bombardier Challenger 300s and Cessna Citation X business jets.
He says the technology and distribution from JetSmarter's app, which has had over 2 million downloads since launch six years ago, can be used to drive bookings on VistaJet's fleet of more than 70 high-end Bombardier aircraft including the Global 5000 and 6,000, as well as the Challenger 350, 605 and 850.
Flohr describes the JetSmarter acquisition as "an important milestone for Vista Global – accelerating and executing our vision of digitising the entire private aviation offering".
Customers today want speed, reliability and value, he continues, "which in today’s world is only possible with technology".
Source: Flight International