Vista Global’s VistaJet is accelerating growth at the top end of the ultra-long-haul market as sister XO seeks to boost the by-the-seat market of entry-level private jet flyers.
Thomas Flohr, Chairman and Founder of Vista Global Holding, told Private Jet Card Comparisons strong sales of its Program are spurring him to increase the deliveries. However, he hasn’t made a final decision.
Flohr gave his comments in Montreal after accepting delivery of VistaJet’s 10th Global 7500 and the 100th produced Bombardier. The airplanes retail for around $75 million each.
Separately, Chief Commercial Officer Ian Moore said the luxury charter jet operator is not guaranteeing availability on peak days during the first 90 days of new customers’ membership.
Its version of a jet card, the Program, requires a commitment of three years and 50 hours per year.
Rivals NetJets and Flexjet both halted jet card sales last year. NetJets also stopped providing transition leases for new share customers. Those leases covered the period between buying a share and delivery of the tail. Flexjet had implemented similar moves.
Like sister provider XO Global, VistaJet never paused sales of its membership program.
Recently NetJets said it would offer 25-hour per year 5-year leases as a jet card replacement. The leases have 45 peak days and 45 blackout dates. Its regular fractional share and lease programs start at 50 hours.
VistaJet doesn’t publish a rate card, customizing fixed hourly pricing based on customer travel patterns.
However, Moore said prices had increased about 10% since last year. That means around $13,500 per hour for its Challenger 350s to $25,000 per hour for Global 7500s.
Flohr and Moore said there are no plans to offer fixed hourly rates in Europe for XO, which is currently selling dynamic pricing membership programs there.
Last year XO announced it is building its own fleet in Europe with a fleet of Citation Excel midsize jets.
Its acquisition of Air Hamburg, expected to close by midyear, will provide more inventory for XO members.
Separately, Flohr said he is unsure about the future of XO’s fixed-rate Elite Access product in the U.S.
While VistaJet has made its position with a near-global service area offering one-way fixed hourly rates, XO, Flohr says, is focused on dynamic pricing using its app.
Since September, XO has increased the daily minimums across all categories on Elite Access to 132 minutes, including taxi time.
It also reduced the long-flight discounts on super-midsize jets eliminating the 3.5-hour rate cap on the Challenger 300 and restricted Citation X long-flight discounts to flights in the Continental U.S.
It also cut the number of destinations in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean where fixed one-way rates apply.
At the same time, XO expanded flight credits for its dynamic pricing Signature memberships to any aircraft in the Vista Global fleet. Operators include Red Wing Aviation, Talon Air, VistaJet, and XOJet.
Subscribers of Private Jet Card Comparisons want programs with fixed or capped hourly rates by a 60%-to-3% margin, although 37% say they are unsure of what type of pricing they want.
Dynamic pricing changes flight-to-flight while fixed and capped rate programs offer a contracted rate.
XO is expanding its commitment to shared and by-the-seat flights.
It increased frequencies between New York and South Florida to 16 per week this past winter. Now it will add two 16-seat Bombardier CRJ regional jets that will be used to boost scheduled flights on the route.
Flohr called the current schedule “capacity constrained.”
The move comes as JSX launched by-the-seat flights between New York and Miami last year, and Blade continues its by-the-seat offerings.
Separately, both Flohr and Moore declined to comment on our report from Feb. 12 that Vista Global was seeking to acquire KKR-backed Jet Edge.