VistaJet subsidiary in Germany unionizes with work council

VistaJet’s former Air Hamburg unit in Germany will have a work council to represent its employees for social issues.

By Doug Gollan, June 13, 2024

After 79% of 543 eligible employees at VistaJet’s German subsidiary voted for union representation in March, a leadership election will conclude on Tuesday.

Dennis Dacke, Head of Aircrew Alliance at Verdi, which represents over two million workers in Germany, said the result of the March vote was to form a work council.

The council will not be involved in collective bargaining for wages.

Dacke tells Private Jet Card Comparisons the work council at the former Air Hamburg will focus on co-determination, which relates to work rules, promotions, redundancies, training, and managing employee data protection.

According to a presentation from Verdi, work councils at businesses with over 100 employees have the right to inspect the company’s balance sheet.

Vista buys Air Hamburg

VistaJet parent Vista Global bought Air Hamburg in 2022 before rebranding it last Fall.

It was part of a buying spree starting in 2018.

Over that period, the Dubai-based holding company acquired all or parts of multiple operators, including XOJet, Red Wing Aviation, Talon Air, Jet Edge, and brokers XO, Apollo Jets, Camber, and JetSmarter.

Along with new super-midsize and long-range jets from Bombardier, Vista tripled its fleet during the period.

It also became a force in the wholesale market, rebranding XOJet’s brokerage arm under the XO banner.

At the same time, it has been under scrutiny since the Financial Times published an article in May 2023 outlining its growing debt load, net losses, and cash-to-deferred revenue deficit.

However, Vista Founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr disputed the article’s premise to CNBC.

VistaJet markets its jet card programs as an asset-free alternative to full and fractional ownership with similar guarantees for availability and pricing.

READ: Here’s what you need to know about VistaJet before you buy

Move to representation

Dacke said workers at VistaJet’s German unit could ask to form a separate council for collective bargaining over wages in the future.

Moves towards unionization first started when pilots approached Verdi in January.

The formation of the work council was first reported in February by a German aviation website. reported, “Verdi announced that the union has called on the approximately 500 employees of Vistajet (formerly Air Hamburg) to vote for the first works council election. This is to take place on March 21 and is aimed not only at pilots but also at employees in administration.”

Dacke says the VistaJet unit is the second German private aviation flight provider to have a union work council.

Workers at Nuremburg-based FAI voted to launch a work council in 2022, according to Dacke.

A Vista Global spokesperson declined to comment.

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