Vista overhauls VistaJet and XO jet card and membership offerings with a combination of fixed and dynamic pricing options
Vista Global is shuffling its line-up of membership options, a move it signaled when it stopped selling the XO Elite Access fixed-rate program in July, a move we exclusively reported.
The new products open up VistaJet’s fleet of long-range Globals to sub-50-hour per year flyers, providing for the first time fixed hourly rates and guaranteed availability at the lower flying levels.
It also provides a new solution for flyers who make one or two trips a year across the Atlantic Ocean or to Hawaii, both of which have limited fixed-rate, guaranteed availability options.
At the same time, there are no fixed or capped rate options for light jets and limited for midsize jets. So, the focus on fixed rates with guaranteed availability is super midsize and up – and on-fleet.
Vista Global’s Evolution
“The evolution and simplification of our offering reaffirm Vista’s commitment to offering a full suite of flexible solutions for all members across VistaJet and XO. We have listened to our clients to understand their rapidly changing needs, and we have optimized our membership structure accordingly,” says Thomas Flohr, Vista’s Chairman, in a release.
The moves follow its acquisitions of Jet Edge and Air Hamburg earlier this year.
Since 2018, Vista has also acquired operators XOJet, Red Wing Aviation, and Talon Air alongside brokers Apollo Jets and JetSmarter.
Post-acquisition moves included splitting off the brokerage unit of XOJet and combining with JetSmarter to create XO as a digitally-led broker brand that also focuses on sharing and by-the-seat options.
So far, Apollo, which is estimated to have around $250 million in annual sales, has retained its branding and is presented as “an XO company.”
Ian Moore, Vista’s Chief Commercial Officer says Apollo will continue to occupy “an independent space” driven by a “loyal customer base.”
As part of yesterday’s announcement, Jet Edge’s Reserve jet card program is also going away.
The program, which only launched last year, offered capped hourly rates on super midsize and large cabin jets as available.
It means Jet Edge will cease to be a consumer storefront, so to speak. It becomes an operating brand like Red Wing, XOJet Aviation, Talon Air, and Air Hamburg.
Moore says sales and marketing teams between Jet Edge, VistaJet, and XO have already been combined and aligned.
Buoyed by continued deliveries of new and pre-owned jets, the VistaJet and XO programs focus on access to the group’s fleet of 350 aircraft.
The group’s owned, leased, and managed fleet is now referred to as the Vista Members’ Fleet.
Over time, the owned/leased jets will get VistaJets silver and red livery and luxury-styled interiors.
So what’s being added, and what are the new options?
There are four big moves:
- VistaJet now offers a fixed-rate option – VJ25 starting at just 25 hours per year. Previously its Program required a 3-year commitment with a minimum of 50 flight hours per year.
- XO combines its dynamic pricing Signature and Select membership options into one program with dynamic pricing tabbed XO Membership.
- XO will offer current Elite Access fixed-rate customers capped hourly rates on-fleet for an undetermined period as an interim solution until they migrate to a new program.
- The new VJ25 program provides a rare fixed-rate, guaranteed availability intercontinental long-haul and US/Canada-Hawaii option or Europe-Middle East for sub-50 hours per year flyers.
- There are no fixed or capped rate light jet programs for new customers.
The new program requires a three-year commitment of 25 to 49 hours. The number of hours is customized to your annual needs.
Like the Program, which starts at 50 hours, you buy into an aircraft type and then can interchange to different types.
- Services, rules, and amenities for VJ25 mirror the Program; just rates are higher.
- You can carry over or borrow up to 20% of your hours per year.
- VJ25 is currently being offered in North America and Europe and will be rolled out to Asia in the future
- You can fly within or to/from the zone where you purchase with guaranteed availability on non-peak days. This means if you are U.S.-based, you can fly to Hawaii or Europe with guaranteed availability and fixed hourly rates, but intra-Europe would be available.
- There are 40 peak days, which vary by region.
- Standard call-out is 7 days, with a premium to book up to 24 hours before departure.
- In addition to offering fixed rates on the Global 7500, Global 6000, and Challenger 300/350, there are several other options:
- In the U.S., buyers of the Global 5000 will have the option to fly on the Jet Edge Gulfstream G450/GIVSP suite for a 10% discount
- Buyer’s in the U.S. Challenger 300/350 program will get as available upgrades to the Jet Edge Challenger 605 fleet
- The dedicated Challenger 605 program continues to be available outside North America
- A new hybrid program includes a blended rate that covers the midsize Citation Excel/XLS and super mid-Challenger 300/350, with VistaJet furnishing a mission-appropriate aircraft.
- Instead of fixed-route rate discounts for long flights and U.S. transcontinental flights as XO and Jet Edge had offered, discounts will be flight time, airport-specific and percentage based.
- Access to Vista Jet World partners and events.
After dropping Elite Access fixed rates, XO is now combining its dynamic pricing membership Signature ($100,000 deposit) and Select Access ($50,000 deposit) into XO Membership.
- XO Membership price drops to $995 per year from $6,000 (Signature) or $3,000 (Select).
- The unused deposit remains refundable
- As available access to Vista Members’ Fleet
- Dynamic pricing only
- Improved cancelation terms over standard on-demand charter
During a discussion, Moore makes it clear that in the current market, Vista believes it only makes sense to offer fixed hourly rates with guaranteed availability on the company fleet.
There is too much risk to have fixed rates with guaranteed availability when considering off-fleet pricing.
He says puts it to market turmoil. One off-fleet light jet booking can eat up the profit from a customer for an entire year.
Dynamic pricing, he believes, is a fairer approach.
He hopes light and midsize jet flyers will accept dynamic pricing via XO Membership.
Vista is not alone in dropping fixed rates with guaranteed availability on light jets.
However, there are still dozens of fixed-rate light and midsize jet options. So, for the time being, that is a hole in the company’s offerings.
At the same time, Vista is leveraging its super-midsize and long-range fleet by opening it up to sub-50-hour flyers with guaranteed availability and fixed rates.
If you make one or two intercontinental trips per year, flying Transatlantic, between Europe and the Middle East or Africa, or North America to Hawaii, VJ25 will be a welcome option.
What the moves mean will depend on your flying needs. Overall, it makes it more likely that flyers will find that the jet card market is becoming less one-size-fits-all.