Global private jet operator VistaJet says it has seen a 49% increase jump in interest from companies during the COVID-19 pandemic
Six months after launching VistaJet Dynamic Lease, the global private jet charter operator is betting on a business travel rebound. Its new Dynamic Corporate Membership, announced this morning, is a suite of services and policies customized for your company’s needs.
The two programs seek to send a clear message to CFOs and directors of aviation. Known for luxe cabin interiors, designer-uniformed cabin hostesses, gourmet menus, and VIP offerings for kids and even pets, VistaJet is not just for UHNWs and the board chairperson.
“It’s the first time we’ve started segmenting a bit more,” Ian Moore, VistaJet’s chief commercial officer, tells Private Jet Card Comparisons. “We hate to define our customers. We know UHNWs fly for business and leisure at the same time, but we thought this is the time we wanted to be segmented.”
We thought now is the time to be there to support the businesses that are being courageous. It’s about trying to remove every friction point for corporations that want to get out there and do business. We wanted to reimagine private aviation for the corporate buyer– Ian Moore, Chief Commercial Officer, VistaJet
Moore says the pandemic is causing businesses to broaden their use of private aviation. “Companies are increasingly flying entire teams to multiple locations around the world to ensure business continuity (instead of just the C-suite).” He points to a recent survey of subscribers from this website that found 31% are adding the range of trips that can be flown privately as well as who in the company has access.
Even though Dynamic Corporate Membership was in the works prior to the pandemic, the success of its short-term lease program spotlighted the larger opportunity with customers who view private aviation more as a tool than a luxury service, he says.
On-site flight coordinators and hot standby aircraft
Some key elements of the corporate membership include a VistaJet flight coordinator implanted in your headquarters, providing faster onsite coordination, availability to use the operator’s aircraft for hot standbys alongside your own aircraft, post-flight payments, flexibility to slide departures by two hours in either direction and a dedicated cabin hostess, providing a familiar face.
There is a minimum commitment of 50 hours to be used over 12 months, and executives can use your negotiated pricing for personal travel with the company receiving credits. If they sign up for an individual account, you get a referral payment.
Call-out is the standard 24 hours with 48 hours for international trips to allow time for permits.
Fixed hourly rates are based on your specific travel patterns. There are discounts for booking in advance (typically at least seven days), qualifying roundtrips, and off-peak travel, with savings ranging up to 30%.
Dual private jet usage
Moore says another benefit is guaranteed dual aircraft usage. “Especially today, executives are operating from their homes, which could be on the opposite end of the country or the world, and they are trying to get to the same place at the same time.”
This is also the first time that VistaJet is allowing customers to pay after their flights. Moore says in dealing with larger entities, rigid procurement processes sometimes made it difficult to book flights on short notice. Companies that deposit funds, however, will get lower rates.
“We thought now is the time to be there to support the businesses that are being courageous. It’s about trying to remove every friction point for corporations that want to get out there and do business. We wanted to reimagine private aviation for the corporate buyer,” he said.
The hot standby feature is available both when using VistaJet’s fleet or your own aircraft. In either case, a VistaJet airplane will be at the field and ready to go in case the primary has a mechanical or is delayed for other reasons. If you don’t need the backup, you are only billed the minimum. In the U.S., that’s one hour for the Challengers and 2.3. hours for Globals.
While customers buy into specific aircraft types – and can split hours between types – you can also upgrade or downgrade at a predetermined interchange rate. VistaJet’s entire fleet is part of the offer. That includes the Challenger 305, 605, and 850 fleet and its full range of Globals, including the 5000, 6000, and new 7500.
VistaJet long-haul flights increase
As airlines have reduced the frequency of flights and cut routes, Moore says, more customers have been turning to private aviation alternatives, and VistaJet has seen a 49% jump in requests from companies. Its 70 super-midsize and long-range, large-cabin private jets have flown to 187 companies, and it even offers domestic flights in India as well as of course, the U.S. and EU.
The charter operator has seen a 44% year-over-year increase in flights over five hours during the past six months, and 11% of flights have been over eight hours. Top routes have been between the UK and France, the U.S. and China, and the UK and Italy.