Vista Global’s proposed acquisition of Air Hamburg adds 44 private jets for members of its XO and VistaJet membership programs
Another week, another deal. Vista Global has entered an agreement to buy Air Hamburg, bringing 44 owned and managed private jets into its fleet. If successful, it will increase Vista’s fleet size to over 240 aircraft.
According to the announcement, Air Hamburg is “the largest private jet operator by number of flights across Europe, organizing over 18,800 flights for its clients in 2021, and it is second only to Vista in terms of hours flown, recording over 35,000 hours in 2021. As a result, Vista expects an increase of around 30% in flight hours (on a combined basis) globally following the completion of the transaction.”
“Today’s announcement brings a renowned institution of the European private aviation market into the Vista group and complements our growth and service offering across Europe and the Middle East. Air Hamburg is an impressive, well-established, and profitable business with a long-standing track record in best-in-class client service — like Vista, it is known for its reliability and consistency throughout a scaling fleet and high utilization,” said Vista Global chairman Thomas Flohr.
Included are Air Hamburg’s operating platform and maintenance services, along with its Executive Handling division and VIP lounge at Hamburg Airport. The only entity not part of the deal is the flight school, Flugschule Hamburg.
Air Hamburg’s management will remain in place, and its 650 employees will join Vista. Included is Air Hamburg Technik, a related MRO.
Air Hamburg fleet
According to its website, Air Hamburg operates a floating fleet, led by 21 large-cabin Embraer Legacy 600/650/605Es. It also has three Dassault Falcon 7Xs and a pair of Embraer Lineage 1000E VIP airliners.
According to the announcement, the deal is expected to close in the first half of the year.
To start the year, Private Jet Services bought Keystone Aviation in a deal called “the first of many.”
VistaJet parent leads private aviation consolidation
Since September 2018, Vista has acquired stakes in U.S. operators XOJet Aviation, Red Wing Aviation, and Talon Air. It also acquired brokers JetSmarter and Apollo Jets. Its XO brokerage unit is the result of merging Jet Smarter’s assets with XOJet’s brokerage business.
A press statement said, “The merger is the latest step in Vista’s relentless transformation of the highly fragmented business aviation ecosystem.”
The impact on the rest of the industry is unclear.
Independent brokers say after Wheels Up and Vista’s previous acquisitions, their fleets were prioritized for members of their own jet card membership programs as demand surged to record levels.