VistaJet's Flohr says the Global 7500 will take share from BBJs and ACJs

By Doug Gollan, March 9, 2019

In an interview with CNBC, he said the new $72 million private jet will be a “game changer”

Flying farther, faster and higher, staying above the weather, Vista Global chairman Thomas Flohr told CNBC yesterday he expects the new Bombardier Global 7500 to be a game changer.

The founder of VistaJet said he holds orders for more than 30 of the new long-range jets that recently flew nonstop from Singapore to Tucson. The 7500s are believed to date from a $7.8 billion order placed with Bombardier 2012 when the aircraft was being marketed as the Global 7000.

Small airport to small airport

Flohr said he believes the Global 7500 will attract users of Boeing’s BBJ and Airbus’ ACJ series of “converted airliners.”  He said the higher cruising altitude, faster speed and ability to fly from small airport to small airport will give the new Bombardier jet an advantage in attracting its high-end target of UHNWs and CEOs.

An article last year by Flight Global noted, “The jet’s new published take-off distance of 1,770m (5,800ft) opens up a number of challenging airports including Chicago Executive, Illinois, and Eagle County in Colorado even in adverse weather conditions.”

Sold out through 2021

It also reported the 7500 is sold out through 2021 representing an order backlog of around 110 aircraft. It identified know customers Hong Kong management firm HK Bellawings Jet and NetJets in addition to VistaJet.

No IPO for Vista Global

Separately, Flohr said there are no plans for an IPO. “The company is very comfortable with where we are…We have no direct plans to go public.” He pointed to its backing from Rhone Capital and also noted Mubadala, a UAE-based fund retained a small interest after Vista Global purchased XOJET last year, a deal that was completed in November. He did say accounting changes the company made in 2015 mean that it would ready for an IPO if it decided to do so.

Mum on acquisitions

A recent article in the New York Post suggested Vista Global might be getting ready to buy crowdsourcing charter broker JetSmarter, something executives declined to comment on at the time. CNBC’s published interview didn’t discuss acquisitions. Vista Global has previously said it would like to expand the XOJET brand internationally. Together, they currently have about 115 super midsize, large cabin and long-range private jets. XOJET has also built a powerful brokerage with over $100 million in annual sales, offering off-fleet light and midsize jet card programs, although they are regional, east of the Mississippi and the Rockies respectively.

VistaJet total flights increased by 25% globally, and by 46% in North America in 2018. In Europe, the number of new Program customers grew by 105%. Aircraft utilization was up by 20%. XOJETsaid it achieved 8% growth in total revenues and a 17% increase in revenues from its charter brokerage.

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