The demand for private jet flights has surged over the past two years. In fact, according to the Founder and Chairman of Vista Thomas Flohr, record levels of requests should continue at least through 2023. This suggestion comes while Flohr's own Vista is making significant moves, expanding its reach by acquiring Jet Edge, one of the largest operators in North America and Air Hamburg, one of Europe's top operators.
Vista Takes Aim at Expansion
Long considered a major player in the private aviation industry, Vista sought to extend its reach through several global acquisitions. Vista Global has acquired the following companies over the last years: XOJET, JetSmarter, Red Wing Aviation, Talon Air, Apollo Jets, Jet Edge and Air Hamburg.
These acquisitions coincide with the company purchasing Challenger 350s and Global 7500s from Bombardier. Vista's fleet inventory of private jets has grown to over 350 with more expected by year's end.
While Vista is in headlines throughout the aviation industry for its quick work in mergers and acquisitions, it hasn't been alone. Since the start of 2022, there have been 10 mergers and acquisitions involving brokers and charter operators that sell memberships.
As the Founder and Chairman of Vista, Thomas Flohr maintained a high profile and public presence during the recent mergers and acquisitions. Taking time to speak with reporters from his office in London, Flohr opened up regarding the future of Vista and how the brand will align with its most recent additions. During the interview, Flohr underscored how VistaJet focuses on a global fixed-rate guaranteed availability solutions known as the Program.
Speaking with Forbes, Flohr said of the team's most recent investments: "Vista's commitment is to provide the most comprehensive range of flying solutions in private aviation."
The recent acquisition of Jet Edge will give Chairman Flohr the ability to align Jet Edge with his current premier brands XO and VistaJet. Last year, Jet Edge began transitioning from its focus on wholesale to a more retail-focused model, launching its membership program, Reserve, which quickly surpassed the $100 million mark.
Flohr released a statement regarding the acquisition, pointing to Vista's new commitments and its focus on embracing Jet Edge's flying solutions. As reported by Aviation Business Middle East, Flohr said, "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."
During his interview with Forbes, Flohr espoused the importance of bringing value to his clients while focusing on bringing new services to customers in new markets, "Our vision is to provide the best services, anytime and anywhere, for every customer."
Financially speaking, Vista's revenues grew meteorically, which bolstered confidence in pursuing new mergers and acquisitions. Vista saw its revenue jump from $700 million in 2021 to more than $1.6 billion, according to reports by Moody's and Fitch. Flohr said in a statement, "The accelerated completion and upsizing of our unsecured bond is transformational."
A large part of the recent surge has been due to flyers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether looking to minimize time in public airports or to avoid them altogether, private jet flights surged, with a source telling Forbes that most private fliers are travel in groups of two to six and sometimes with pets.
Meet Thomas Flohr: Founder and Chairman of Vista Global
As Vista continues to dominate headlines around the world for its activity in the private aviation sector, Thomas Flohr's name rises alongside it in conversation. Under his leadership, Vista has grown into one of the largest private aviation services worldwide, providing everything from guaranteed availability programs and on demand flying solutions to private jet management. Developing into a leader within this industry hasn't been easy; in fact, it has been a slow and arduous task, according to Flohr.
Prior to his work with Vista, Flohr worked in asset finance. Quickly realizing that the corporate environment was too rigid for his tastes, Flohr decided to redirect his attention toward something far more fascinating: private air travel. After initially researching the industry, Flohr was shocked at how large of a gap there was in quality standards. Flohr stated to CSQ, "I could see there was a gap in the market to create a premium, cost-effective, simple, and standardized model for all flyers globally."
As an entrepreneur, Flohr wanted to address the quality gaps in the industry while making sure his solutions were ideal for all shoppers. Flohr wanted to provide a complete customer experience, no matter the budgetary requirements or needs of their clients.
Noting how much the industry has changed, Thomas Flohr thinks our globally connected world has the sector more excited than ever. People don't just do business down the road; they do it across the ocean and around the globe.
Overall, Flohr points to the global nature of the world we now live in by stating in CSQ, "Mobility is vital for business leaders. Private aviation gives them that flexibility."