Did a VistaJet client pay for private jet flights with a $21.6 million house?

VistaJet recently launched a program allowing clients to pay after they fly. A Bloomberg report suggests the private jet charter company will accept your house as payment.

By Doug Gollan, October 24, 2020

In addition to its fleet of silver bullet Bombardier Globals with distinctive red cheat lines that can be seen at airports from New York, London, and Geneva to Aspen, Bali, and countries whose capitals you probably can’t name for, say, $21.6 million, VistaJet is known for its unabashed approach to the ultra-high-net-worth lifestyle and innovative marketing programs.

While other jet companies offer family-friendly movies for your kids, its UHNW-targeted programming options include an Alice in Wonderland tea party staged inflight by professional actors to entertain offspring. There are similar offerings for your pets and more recent collaborations with top travel designers on exotic itineraries.

VistaJet’s fly now, pay later

Then earlier this month, VistaJet launched Dynamic Corporate Membership. One intriguing option was the ability to pay after you fly.

At the time, a spokesperson explained the feature was designed to help corporate clients who need to fly on short-notice but where bureaucracy didn’t permit payment in advance.

Well, if a Bloomberg article yesterday is correct, the private jet operator is also testing new payment methods as well.

According to the report, in 2016, a client of the company transferred a $21.6 million Bel Air mansion to an entity owned by VistaJet founder, principal owner, and chairman Thomas Flohr.

The house was payment for “exclusive, owner-like access” to a Bombardier Global 6000 for over three years starting in 2015. According to Business Insider, the cost to buy the type outright would be $62 million.

The innovative house for jet payment plan came to light because the U.S. government sought to confiscate the mansion. The former owner and apparent VistaJet client is Kolawole Aluko.

The Nigerian businessman has been accused of participating in a bribery scheme that generated over $1.5 billion. Neither Flohr nor VistaJet are part of the scandal. However, the Feds say Flohr, who reportedly controls the BVI-registered company that now owns the house, should have been aware the residence at 755 Sarbonne Road would be subject to forfeiture “because of an existing relationship with Aluko and news articles reporting that the Nigerian businessman was suspected of money laundering.”

A spokesperson for VistaJet responds to Private Jet Card Comparisons, “VistaJet respects the privacy and business affairs of all its customers and as part of company policy does not disclose or discuss their identity. VistaJet would also like to make it clear that the company is not an Interested or participating person in the referenced file.  The company confirms that Mr. Aluko never had any role within or ownership in the group, including any of its affiliates at any point in time. VistaJet cannot comment on any additional roles that executives might have outside the Company.”

NetJets vs. VistaJet

It’s still unclear if you can also use a yacht or even a Patek Philippe watch to pay for VistaJet flights. However, in case you are looking for a Global 6000, we reached out to rival NetJets, which offers the type. We asked if they would accept your house in place of more traditional money wires. So far, there has been no reply.

While we allow you to compare over 250 programs from over 50 providers by 65+ variables, alternate payment forms are not covered.

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