VistaJet recorded its “strongest year ever” in 2017, thanks to a surge in demand for its high-end subscription-based programme and large fleet of bespoke Bombardier business jets.
The company, headquartered in Malta, says it flew a record 50,000 passengers last year, and while it increased its market share in all regions, Asia, the Middle East and the USA were the leading geographies.
“Programme customers climbed by over 50% in the Middle East year-on-year,” says VistaJet, with Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates showing a “particularly robust performance”.
Strong demand from technology firms in California contributed to a 40% jump in the number of flights originating in the USA, compared with the previous year, and a 50% surge in flying hours, says VistaJet.
Asia-based programme customers flew 16% more hours between January and December, with China and India the “fastest growing countries in the region”, it adds.
VistaJet says it will continue to build on this demand over the coming 12 months as it aims for “another momentous year”.
At the heart of its strategy for 2018 is in an increased focus on customer service, with the company looking to provide additional services and a more personalised experience for its clients.
“Generations that have grown up having the world at their fingertips are increasingly searching for travel options that match their lifestyles, preferences and attitudes,” says VistaJet.
It believes the opportunities created by ultra-long-range jets, such as the Bombardier Global 7000 – scheduled for certification later this year – will help satisfy a growing appetite for very-long-distance flying.
VistaJet has delivery positions for an undisclosed number of the 7,400nm (13,700km)-range twinjets, but will not disclose when the first units will arrive. It says the current fleet of 72 long-range Global 6000/5000s, large-cabin Challenger 605/850s, and super-midsize Challenger 350s is adequate for the time being.
VistaJet is well positioned financially to support this expansion. Last August, the operator boosted its balance sheet by raising $200 million from private equity firm Rhône Capital, in return for a 7.5% stake in the company.
“We head into 2018 in a fantastic position,” says VistaJet chairman Thomas Flohr, who founded the venture in 2004. “We are committed to becoming the number one in every market in which we operate, and we are on course to make great strides towards that goal over the next 12 months.”