Business jet operator VistaJet has doubled its Middle Eastern business this year, and aims to increase its growth in the region with new approvals to operate in Saudi Arabia.
The company hopes to capitalize on what it says is a trend in the region from fractional jet ownership or full ownership of business aircraft. VistaJet has seen its flagship Program membership double in the Middle East this year. Program membership is a multiyear subscription that allows members the highest-level access to VistaJet’s fleet. The company is pitching the Program membership as an alternative to business jet ownership.
The overall Middle East business aviation market is expected to grow by 9% this year. The market has changed, VistaJet says, so that now 70% of business aviation traffic in the region is corporate, rather than personal. VistaJet believes its globally uniform product and operations worldwide positions it to capture more of the changing Middle East business aviation market.
“We’re delighted to announce today’s results as VistaJet continues to provide a valuable proposition for business leaders and an alternative to aircraft ownership,” says Thomas Flor, VistaJet founder and chairman. “With our extension to operate in and out of Saudi Arabia, this will further enable business leaders to travel seamlessly throughout the Middle East and to the rest of the world.”
The company recently received approval to operate in Saudi Arabia. That country provides the largest share of VistaJet’s business in the Middle East, at 39%. The United Arab Emirates’ share is 30%, with 7% each from Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt.
VistaJet flies to 1,600 airports worldwide, and 68 airports in the Middle East. Dubai is its largest base in the region, with customers most frequently flying from there to Nice, Moscow, Mumbai and London.
VistaJet operates a fleet of more than Bombardier business aircraft, including Global 6000s, Global 5000s, Challenger 850s and Challenger 605s. All of its jets sport a uniform livery and cabin and allow customers to tailor the inflight experience.
Rhone Capital recently invested $150 million in the company, which has a valuation now of $2.5 billion, VistaJet says.