As it expands to Texas, Cirrus SF50 very light jet operator Verijet has signed a non-binding LOI with SPAC New Vista led by former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg.
Earlier this week, it entered into a non-binding letter of intent for a business combination with New Vista Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: NVSA).
New Vista is a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), incorporated as a Cayman Islands-exempted company in December 2020. It raised $276 million from its February 2021 IPO.
Founder and CEO Richard Kane tells Private Jet Card Comparisons the deal with New Vista will provide funds for continued growth.
Verijet currently operates 19 Cirrus SF50 Vision Jets.
It has an as-available jet card program sold in increments of 25, 50, and 100 hours.
According to Kane, it recently gave holders of its 100-hours Founders Card a chance to renew before a rate increase, and there was a 100% uptake.
So far, Verijet has 22 members at the top level and another 120 members equally split between the 50-and-25-hour cards, although the latter doesn’t provide a discount, just the convenience of having funds on account.
Last year it added a new service area in the Northeast. Flights within 600 nautical miles of Westchester County Airport, north of New York City, don’t have repositioning.
McKinney, Texas, has been added on the same basis, and Chicago is next, says Klein.
|Verijet Primary Service Area – 600 nautical miles from:
|Santa Maria, California
|White Plains, New York
It has also added Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, and Costa Rica to the Bahamas for international flying. Both Canada and Mexico will be added in the future, says Klein.
Verijet cracked our 2022 list of Top 30 U.S. Fractional/Charter Operators, which will be released tomorrow.
While the airplane can fly up to four hours nonstop, it doesn’t have a toilet. Kane says the average flight length is around 75 minutes.
The deal with New Vista pairs Verijet with high-profile players from the world of business and the world of business aviation.
Former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg (pictured below) is chairman and CEO of New Vista. XOJet co-founder Kirstin Bartok-Touw is the COO of the SPAC.
Muilenberg is expected to join Verijet’s board before its next meeting. During a telephone interview earlier this afternoon, he said New Vista looked at “literally hundreds” of companies before setting its sites on Verijet.
In addition to its “strong and experienced” management team, New Vista was attracted by scheduling software developed by Kane. Mainly, he believes the small jet broadens the market of private aviation users with its low operating cost, single pilot, and state-of-the-art safety systems that enable the airplane to land itself by a passenger with the touch of a button.
Verijet allows users to add a second pilot for a surcharge. Kane says about 30% of flights are operated by two pilots. However, he says there is a typical transition: after several flights, customers opt for a single pilot and the perk of sitting up front.
New Vista shareholders will vote on Feb. 10 to extend the SPAC for an additional 12 months, providing a window for the merger with Verijet.
Muilenberg says he doesn’t envision more acquisitions in the private aviation space, saying the goal is to pick a single winner, something he believes he has with Verijet.
In October, Bloomberg reported that New Vista was seeking a deal with Canadian low-cost operator Flair Airlines.