Vista Founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr recently led Vista to acquire Jet Edge and Air Hamburg. These deals make Vista among the largest private charter flight operators in the world.
“Vista’s commitment is to provide the most comprehensive range of flying solutions in private aviation,” Flohr said in a statement quoted on JustLuxe.com. “Today’s announcement brings significant value to our clients, with access to a further 100 aircraft, expanding our fleet at a time of unprecedented demand for business aviation services.”
The company reached an agreement to acquire Air Hamburg in February 2022 and Jet Edge in March 2022. Both acquisitions closed recently in June 2022.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work closely with the leadership team to ensure both companies capitalize fully on the global opportunities within the expanding private aviation market,” Flohr said of the Air Hamburg deal as reported on AeroTime Hub.
Vista Flying High
Jet Edge is the eighth-largest charter plane operator in North America per charter flight and fractional hours. There are 100 large-cabin and super-midsize jets in its fleet, which substantially add to Vista’s inventory and operations.
Both deals include aircraft, management contracts, leases, and other assets. These deals are on the heals of many prior acquisitions Vista has done over the years, including: XOJET, JetSmarter, Red Wing Aviation, Apollo Jets and Talon Air.
These two acquisitions will place Vista among the largest global charter flight operators. Specifically, the company will be in contention for first and second place with NetJets.
NetJets, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, has the largest market share in the United States, but is significantly behind Vista in the rest of the world.
The next two largest charter flight operators are Wheels Up (NYSE: UP) and FlexJet.
The total market share of the industry’s leading companies shows how much parity there is within the industry. The 10 largest operators have only 45.1% of the global market share, and the 30 largest hold 53.9% of the market.
We expect to see further consolidation in this industry.
Jet Edge’s fleet and operational footprint will benefit both VistaJet and XO clients. Members can book flights on a larger global fleet either through VistaJet’s fixed-rate guaranteed availability Program or XO’s on demand membership programs. XO members also benefit from the ability to sell or purchase unused seats on shared private jet flights, which is a disruptive innovation in the industry.
Prior to the acquisition, Jet Edge transitioned from a wholesale business model to a more retail-focused one. It started a membership program called Reserve, seeing excellent success, reaching $100 million in sales. These members will now benefit from Vista’s global fleet of over 350 aircraft worldwide.
In an official statement, Thomas Flohr commented on why he’s leading Vista to make this acquisition. He said, “This acquisition is the latest example of Vista’s ability to capitalize on key opportunities in the highly fragmented and fast-growing business aviation world.”
Jet Edge is the fastest-growing large and super-mid private flight operator in the United States. Its addition to the Vista portfolio will allow Vista to offer the largest fleet of Gulfstream aircraft to its members.
“Bringing Jet Edge, the fastest-growing large-cabin and super-mid on-demand company in the U.S., into the group scales up our presence in North America, giving Vista the opportunity to turbocharge growth in the most dynamic aviation market,” says Flohr in the statement to Forbes. “It also means expanding our offering and presenting our members with the chance to fly on the largest fleet of Gulfstream aircraft available.”
The private charter flight industry is expected to grow throughout 2023. Demand for flights has been at record levels since June 2021, and that demand is only forecast to increase.
Vista is aggressively seeking to take advantage of the growing industry to further cement its position as one of the four most prominent operators. These two acquisitions have a pivotal role in that growth.
In addition to these two acquisitions, Vista issued a bond offering of $1 billion in unsecured notes due in 2030. These notes allowed the company to pay off bonds that were due in 2024 and thus continue investing in the growth opportunities available now.
Vista is one of the largest global operators of private charter flights. The company offers flights to members on fixed-rate and variable pricing around the world and is based in Dubai.
Jet Edge is the fastest-growing private charter flight operator in the United States. The company has been transitioning from wholesale to retail operations, seeing significant sales in the first year of the transition.
Thomas Flohr is the Founder and Chairman of Vista. He’s overseen the company’s growth to become one of the largest operators in the industry.