Vista Global Holding, parent of VistaJet and XO, is acquiring charter operator and aircraft management company Jet Edge. The acquisition will bring 100 additional aircraft to the overall Vista fleet, including the largest charter fleet of Gulfstream jets in the U.S.
Vista has been on an acquisition spree over the last few years. Just a few weeks ago it announced the acquisition of AIR HAMBURG, one of Europe’s largest charter operators, which brought 44 aircraft and 650 staff to the company.
XO became a part of Vista in 2018, operator Red Wing Aviation followed in 2020, and the acquisition of broker Apollo Jets, and a related deal with sister aircraft management company Talon Air, were announced in March 2021. Following the completion of the Jet Edge transaction in Q2 2022 Vista expects its fleet availability to expand to over 340 aircraft which are a mix of owned and managed planes.
Jet Edge Background
Founded in 2011, Jet Edge is an integrated charter, management and brokerage platform and a leading U.S. provider of large cabin and super-midsize private jet charter and aircraft management services.
Jet Edge has been growing rapidly, especially over the last few years. It has received over $265 million in funding from investors KKR which has helped grow its owned fleet of Challenger and Gulfstream jets. In 2021 it ranked as the 7th largest U.S. charter operator, with over 32,000 flight hours, based on data from ARGUS. At the time of the acquisition announcement, Jet Edge says it has a run rate of 60,000+ yearly flight hours, exclusively in the large-cabin and super-midsize category, so this current run rate would see it grow almost 100% in flight hours in 2022.
Bill Papariella, CEO of Jet Edge will join Vista’s executive team as Chief Business Officer, and commented “Our Members will now get access to an extensive global fleet, programs, services and a network able to fly them anywhere in the world. Our Aircraft Owners will be able to take advantage of the enormous charter demand, global infrastructure and procurement advantages that Vista generates via its iconic brands VistaJet and XO.”
“Our vision is to provide the best services, anytime and anywhere, for every customer. 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 business aviation market,” said Thomas Flohr, Vista’s Founder and Chairman.
Brands & Integration
In the current high demand market, acquisitions like this are largely about adding and gaining access to capacity. “We are adding talent and aircraft,” Ian Moore, Chief Commercial Officer of VistaJet, told SherpaReport, “This enables us to grow our business globally, and creates a Geographical advantage with AIR HAMBURG in Europe and now Jet Edge in the US – the two biggest private aviation markets.”
When SherpaReport asked about which brands, for instance XO or VistaJet, the newly acquired aircraft will fly under, Ian said “it’s still in early days.” The Jet Edge acquisition will also provide two branded lounges in Van Nuys, CA and Teterboro, NJ two of the busiest private jet airports. Other large private jet operators also have their own branded private terminals, which help to provide a fully customized experience, so it will be interesting to see what Vista does with this aspect of the acquisition and if they add any more as they continue to expand.
Vista’s maintenance services in North America will expand with the acquisition of Jet Edge’s Part 145 maintenance facility, located on the West Coast. It will provide a full suite of maintenance services to a wide range of aircraft types, augmenting the maintenance capacity across the U.S. and securing better access to parts, which is even more important in the current environment where maintenance capacity can make the difference between having planes in the air to meet demand.