VistaJet Direct is the name of a new private jet membership program the operator has quietly started rolling out. While not calling it a jet card, like its Programs that target frequent global Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) travelers, royalty and Chairmen/CEOs, it is a prepaid product.
VistaJet Direct will include an initial $40,000 deposit and $10,000 membership fee with both amounts used against flight hours. The new product will fill a space between on-demand charter and its Program offerings, which mainly appeals to travelers and companies that are spending in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and into the millions of dollars annually on flying.
Direct is being tied to the rollout of a new App that is currently in beta and being shared with program customers, although you can go online, download it and sign up. Among the benefits is notification of empty legs at a significant discount and a feature that will show you if any of VistaJet’s 70 strong Global Express or Challenger fleet are in your city of origin and have availability for flying over the next two-and-a-half days. The idea seems like a good way to increase fleet utilization with customers who use multiple private aviation solutions and at the same time provide Direct and program customers reduced rates somewhere between retail rates and the cost of an empty leg. In some case, the short term rates will be less than contracted rates for program customers. The key is that you need to fly within a 2.5 day window and there will be cancellation charges. VistaJet retail rates range from $12,000 to $17,000 per hour depending on where you are going and aircraft type.
Program customers get access to the empty legs and one-way flights in the App but don’t pay either the initiation fee or annual membership as existing contracted customers with VistaJet, according to Private Jet Card Comparison’s understanding of how the program will work.
VistaJet operates 70 large-cabin Bombardier Global and Challenger aircraft and has flown to 187 countries and 1,489 airports. Launched in 2004 by entrepreneur Thomas Flohr, the company has made its mark on several fronts. By owning its own fleet it is able to offer standard configurations and cabin design (The silver exteriors and red stripe exteriors also standout). By having a fleet of aircraft based worldwide, it has been able to offer program customers global solutions without ferry fees. It recently added South America and Australia to its program service area. It also has focused on adding some panache with stylishly outfitted flight attendants and high-end complimentary catering.
One element slowing the launch of VistaJet Direct in the United States and the promotional rollout of the app is that its N-tail number (U.S. registered) airplanes aren’t yet available through the app, which is expected by the end of the summer. The app is available on both iPhone and Android platforms. You can sign up and pay by using your credit card or wiring funds.
While VistaJet is targeting the highest end of the rarified private aviation market, it also has tried to take an accessible approach recently offering customers who use WeChat the ability to book flights through the popular Chinese social media platform.