The large global aviation provider VistaJet calls its Jet Card type product a “Program membership.” Just like a jet card the members prepay for a number of hours. VistaJet frequently refers to its program as an asset-free hourly subscription model and reported that 40% of its new business in 2016 came from customers moving away from fractional or full aircraft ownership.
Founded in 2004 by Thomas Flohr, the company has performed over 100,000 flights in its history and has now connected 250,000 passengers to over 1,600 airports in 187 countries.
VistaJet’s worldwide network spans Europe, Russia & CIS, Africa, Middle East, India, Asia, United States, South America and China, so it is very much a global operation.
With over 70 Global and Challenger jets, VistaJet owns and operates the largest privately owned Bombardier fleet.
The smallest aircraft in the fleet is the super-midsize Challenger 350 business jet which has a maximum range of 3,200 nm. The largest aircraft is the Global 6000 which can carry up to 14 passengers and has a maximum range of almost 6,000 nm. The average age of the VistaJet fleet is under 2 years.
The hourly rates for these aircraft vary between about $11,000 and $17,000. Customers who buy hours on one size aircraft can interchange into a different size for different missions, effectively making the whole fleet available.
The VistaJet Program is a bespoke solution aimed at individuals and corporations flying between 50 and 1,000+ hours per year. It offers guaranteed access anytime and anywhere to its global fleet of silver and red branded aircraft.
VistaJet Program customers accounted for the majority of the company’s business in 2016.
In the 6 months to 30th June 2017 the Program Membership sales were up 57% year-on-year, across all regions.
Renewal hours more than trebled in the first half of the year, with the number of new Program customers increasing by 61% compared to the same time period last year due to its focus on unique customer benefits. VistaJet has sold over 6,000 new hours of annual subscriptions globally during the first half of 2017 alone.
No Ferry Fees
Earlier this year the company announced that it has abolished hourly ferry flight fees for new Program customers globally. Many companies in the sector, particularly charter operators, make their customers pay for the cost of returning the empty plane to its home airport or service area after a flight is completed. These charges may be referred to as empty legs, positioning fees or ferry fees.
“When you call a taxi, you don’t worry about paying for its journey to you. Today’s entrepreneur or business executive will be flying to America one week, Asia or South America the next, and Europe in between, so it’s become critical to offer them a truly global service. The sustained investment we’ve made for the past 13 years has been calculated to ensure we can offer our customers something completely ground-breaking: one-way pricing around the globe,” said Thomas Flohr.
The new offering has been made possible by the $2.5bn investment the company has made to grow its fleet to a global scale, as well as its effort to establish a global customer base through its 10 sales offices around the globe. The company’s business model, built on removing the notion of a home base for its aircraft, means customers only pay for the time they are in the air: when a VistaJet Program customer books a flight, VistaJet will simply move the nearest plane to pick them up. It has also established offices on 5 continents managing flights to over 1,600 airports in 187 countries to date.
From popular cities such as New York or London, corporations and ultra high net worth individuals were able to arrange their flight with full catering in as little as 90 minutes from booking.
“We look forward to continuing to shake up the business aviation industry to offer our customers the true alternative to full and fractional aircraft ownership without compromise,” said Flohr.