VistaJet, the first and only global business aviation company, starts 2020 with a market update amid the unique set of challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as a recap of its solid growth during 2019 and the successes for the year.
The Company, with operations based in Malta, has made a positive start to 2020 as customers seek VistaJet’s commitment to security, flexibility of travel and privacy, which are not guaranteed by any other type of transport during times of instability. Early figures from January 2020 through today highlight that VistaJet’s total number of flights increased by a further 16% YOY and the Company continues to see strong demand across all regions. The U.S. registered the greatest number of flights during the first two months of the year, making up 23% of global flights. Despite the deep impact of the virus spreading across Asia, demand from the continent remains stable at 11%.
To safeguard passengers and crew, the Company has taken additional steps along with its partners to further strengthen safety and security procedures every day. Dedicated Flight Approval and Coordination teams are working 24/7 to assess and approve any booking and change requests from a technical, safety and security standpoint. To help reduce the spread of the virus, VistaJet works with leading experts, including Control Risks and Osprey for security and safety advice using both human and AI-driven intelligence, while MedAire provides leading medical support on the ground and in the air. All crew are checked for signs of the virus twice a day and each VistaJet aircraft is sanitized after every flight. As a precautionary measure, should authorities determine that a COVID-19 carrier traveled on a VistaJet aircraft, that tail and crew will be temporarily withdrawn from use. For upcoming bookings, passengers may be required to complete additional travel documents and health certificates, and those who have recently traveled to high risk locations may have their temperature tested prior to boarding.
Thomas Flohr, VistaJet’s and Vista Global’s Founder and Chairman, said:
“As the events of the last few months show, 2020 is not set to be business as usual. I have no doubt that the strong increase recorded over the past 10 weeks includes fliers looking for safer and cleaner alternatives to commercial flying. The agility and flexibility at the foundation of VistaJet ensure we are well-prepared to address the impact that the spread of coronavirus is having on the world.
Above all else, the maximum safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is my utmost priority. The ever-changing developments associated with the coronavirus have guided us to find intelligent and innovative ways to step up to the challenge. We have been monitoring and adapting to the outbreak since the first cases were reported in late 2019, and we are working daily with experts and authorities to update our standards as the situation evolves.”
The Company’s 2020 pipeline comes on the back of a strong 2019, during which VistaJet made significant progress on its core strategic priorities and grew market share worldwide with a 21% growth in its Program membership.
Consistent with historical corporate trends, VistaJet increased its number of flights and passengers by double digits in 2019. Its new fleet optimization strategy catalyzed growth also during the low season of the first half, increasing global flights by 12% compared to the same time the previous year. Q3 2019 remained the most popular quarter, responsible for 28% of journeys.
The opening of a dedicated Middle East office drove the region to record the largest growth for the Company across number of flights, passengers and new clients joining the VistaJet Program — surging by 24%, 35% and 26% respectively. The UAE registered the majority of flights in the region and saw a 21% increase in flights, trailed only by Saudi for regional flights, which experienced a 41% growth.
The VistaJet Program model remained a favorable solution for U.S. based customers, recording a rise of 24% in the number of memberships in the market, while Asia’s membership grew by 6%, with China, India and Singapore leading the charge. Europe recorded an 11% growth in flight hours against 2018 figures and increased its Members in the market by 23%. The UK alone accounted for 24% of VistaJet’s flights in the region, proving that despite political uncertainties, the country continues to be a focus for global and European business.
VistaJet continued to lead the industry’s innovation and service, introducing more programs designed to elevate the experience for all clients. A new flight safety program launched at the beginning of the year pushed flight operations software to new heights with the adoption of Osprey Flight Solution’s data-led risk assessment technology. A partnership with Scuderia Ferrari as the official supplier of private jet travel throughout the Formula One season highlighted VistaJet’s promise of maximum speed and efficiency. The introduction of VistaPet, the leading global pet travel program in the aviation industry, set the high-water mark for four-legged passengers. The Company also announced VistaJet World — a comprehensive portfolio of one-of-a-kind, multi-tops travel adventure tailored around each Member’s passions.
VistaJet’s announcement, that it will be the first to get access to a fleet of Global 7500 aircraft starting in 2020, coupled with the synergies derived from Vista Global’s launch of XO, the global private aviation marketplace, ensures that the Company continues to be the leading asset-light alternative to aircraft ownership.
Thomas Flohr continues:
“VistaJet’s solutions are particularly attractive in times of uncertainty. The last 12 months were yet another milestone for the Company, Vista Global and XO; and I am proud of what we have achieved and that we continue to spearhead the industry in service excellence, innovation and global infrastructure. We begin 2020 positively during the first 10 weeks and I am looking forward to continuing to offer the best business aviation solution in this industry.”