VistaJet plans to double business within four years
Switzerland-based business-jet charter and aircraft-management company VistaJet says it has begun the second phase of its strategic expansion across fast- growth markets – including China, India and the Middle East – as it seeks to double the size of the business within four years.
The company says its strategy is “to focus on fast-growth markets including the BRINC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria and China], Middle East, Africa and CIS nations”.
VistaJet’s expansion will be “underpinned by the ongoing and rapid growth in global commodity markets and the development of mining and other assets in remote locations, either underserved by commercial airlines or from where direct routes to other key commodity and natural resource market locations do not exist,” the company says. “Moreover, a significant proportion of commodity and natural-resource companies operating in today’s markets are founder-owned, which has resulted in the rapid growth of luxury aviation as well as reliable and efficient point-to-point travel.”
For 2012, VistaJet says it has prioritised a number of regions for further expansion, including China, where the company is “at the advanced stages of establishing a presence in conjunction with local partners with a view to commencing operations no later than the end of 2012”. Africa is also a top priority, following on from the recent development of a “major presence” on the continent’s west coast.
“We have reached a major stage in our development and strategic expansion. We have the opportunity to build on our established position as the world’s leading luxury aviation company with the largest fleet of business jets outside of North America,” says Thomas Flohr, founder and chairman of VistaJet.
“If you are the owner of a mining company with assets in Siberia and Central Africa, you cannot afford to spend up to three days flying commercially between Novosibirsk and Luanda. Nor are you going to want to fly on some of the airlines that will get you there,” Flohr says. “With our modern, state-of-the-art long-haul fleet, VistaJet will fly you there directly and in style.”
Rapid growth in demand and a significant expansion of the company’s route network to include longer-haul sectors has come alongside a rapid expansion of VistaJet’s fleet of Bombardier jets, which now comprises more than 30 aircraft. With a US$2 billion order backlog, the fleet is set to double by 2015 to over 60 mid- and large-size, long-range aircraft.
Even so, the company insists it will maintain an average fleet age at less than two years, with no single aircraft being more than three years old.
For the year ended 31 December 2011, VistaJet says it estimates the passenger numbers rose 20 percent while revenue increased by a quarter. “These trends are expected to continue during the current financial year,” VistaJet says.
The company also expects to confirm that profits for the year 2011 grew by more than 50 percent.
China’s Nanshan receives first BBJ
Boeing Business Jets announced in mid-December the delivery of a BBJ aircraft to Chinese charter operator Nanshan Jet, based in Yantai.
The aircraft was handed over at the Boeing Delivery Centre in Seattle. The BBJ is Nanshan’s first, and becomes one of the first aircraft the company will operate on its own.
“Previously our jets were operated by Air China,” says Bin Yu, president of Nanshan Jet. “We’re thrilled to begin this new adventure with Boeing as our partner.”
Yu adds the BBJ is the largest, most capable aircraft in Nanshan’s fleet of seven. It will provide charter services for corporations, government agencies and private individuals in China.
Boeing delivered the BBJ as a ‘green’ aircraft, with no interior or paint, so it can be customized to the charter operator’s needs and tastes. Nanshan Jet has selected Lufthansa Technik’s U.S. Subsidiary, BizJet International, to complete the interior in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Boeing says the aircraft will be configured to carry 28 passengers.
Customers in China accounted for three of Boeing’s four BBJ orders and three of seven deliveries in 2011. The manufacturer says it expects 2012 to be “equally as strong for BBJ in the region”.
CESSNA AIRCRAFT has launched a safety initiative to educate 100- and 200-series single-engine piston aircraft owners around the world about new, supplemental aircraft inspection procedures that will be added to Cessna service manuals. The additional inspections cover single-engine piston aircraft produced between 1946 and 1986, when Cessna suspended piston aircraft production. The new inspections were incorporated into service manuals for the 200-series aircraft in early December, while changes for the 100-series aircraft will be made in April 2012. “The supplemental inspection program we’ve developed is primarily a visual process aimed at supporting the continued airworthiness of ageing airframes,” says Beth Gamble, Cessna’s principal engineer for airframe structures. “Through this education effort, we hope to answer most questions before we release the revised service manuals.”