Charter broker Fly Victor's parent company enters administration

By Doug Gollan, February 14, 2020

Alyssum Holdings Limited, the parent company of private jet charter broker Victor, has entered administration in the U.K.

Victor says it’s business as usual and customer money isn’t at risk

Alyssum Holdings Limited, the parent company of private jet charter broker Fly Victor, Ltd., has entered administration.

The filing made on Wednesday appointed London-based David Rubin & Partners to oversee the process.

Separately, the administrators have hired Hilco Streambank to seek offers to acquire Alyssum’s shareholdings in its subsidiaries Fly Victor Limited and RocketRoute Limited, an online platform providing solutions for private pilots. The deadline for buyers is Feb. 28th.

Victor Revenues

According to filings, Victor generated net revenues of $6.5 million in 2019. Net revenues likely refer to the margin between consumer prices and the amount Victor, a broker, had to pay to the actual operators.

The industry has a leaning towards creating a drama but frankly, it’s business as usual for RocketRoute and Victor. Both companies are going concerns and are having a great start to 2020.

Clive Jackson, CEO and founder of Fly Victor, Ltd.

Victor had said worldwide charter bookings hit $74 million in 2018.

David Young, senior vice president for Victor in the U.S., said it’s business as usual and customer payments are not at risk.

In response to Private Jet Card Comparisons, Victor issued the following statement: “The Board of Alyssum Group have placed our Holding Company into Administration to ensure both RocketRoute and Victor which are both fully trading going concerns, are able to pursue separate paths and seek new investment through a sale process managed by Hill Co Global and administered by David and Rubin Partners.”

Fly Victor CEO Clive Jackson

Jackson added, “The industry has a leaning towards creating a drama but frankly, it’s business as usual for RocketRoute and Victor. Both companies are going concerns and are having a great start to 2020.”

Earlier this year, Victor founder and CEO Clive Jackson had written on his blog,  “As I look to 2020, I’m excited to continue our journey to reach profitability within the coming year.”

In the post he added, “We have built a brand that has stayed true to transparency by putting its customers and service first and hopefully inspired others to follow our initiative to drive positive environmental change within and beyond our sector.”

Earlier this month Victor unveiled several partnerships for its Alto frequent flier program. It also has been at the forefront of bringing green to private jet travel with a double carbon offset program.

While privately held, Victor had become a media darling. It was listed in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. It was also on Deloitte’s UK Tech Fast 50 in 2016 and 2017. Earlier this year Victor said it ranked 380th in FT 1000 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies.

Victor lawsuits

Last year Victor was hit with two lawsuits in Florida. Both were from a former business partner over the use of the URL One lawsuit was seeking $30 million in damages.

At the time, Jackson said, “Don’t Look Media and (its attorney) Farrow Law are shamelessly exploiting the judicial system to extort monies from Alyssum. This is a despicable act carried out by those that not only wish to damage our company but whose actions can only bring disrepute on the entire private industry,”

The original lawsuit for $30 million was dismissed earlier this month, according to Jay Farrow, who represented the plaintiff. He said they are in the process of appealing the ruling. He said the second lawsuit has yet to be litigated.

Victor’s Future?

In December, U.K.-based private jet charter operator XJC Jets went into liquidation. Wijet, another operator which had liquidated its British subsidiary in 2018 closed its French company as well.

Several industry insiders said it’s quite possible a competitor might swoop in and buy Victor.

In the past 18 months, Vista Global Holdings has snapped up XOJET and tech-led broker JetSmarter. While XOJET operates private jets, it had also built a $100 million brokerage as well.

At the same time, Directional Aviation grabbed PrivateFly and has since been building and expanding its operations.

Wheels Up, which has just completed its acquisition of Delta Private Jets, and now counts Delta Air Lines as its biggest shareholder, has been eyeing European expansion for several years.

Another possibility could be some type of management purchase of the assets.

Jackson said, “Following an independent path will ensure we can focus on our core mission and with a new ownership structure that will rest more comfortably with our position on the environment and aviation emissions.”

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