VistaJet , which late last summer teamed with Jet Aviation and Wheels Up to launch services in the U.S. , is hoping to begin a China-based program by the end of the year.
The company plans to announce a partnership later this year to establish the service and hopes to have its air operator certificate ( AOC ) in hand from China by the end of the year, says Ian Moore , chief commercial officer .
VistaJet already operates within the region , typically stationing a mix of Challenger 605s and 850s in China and the surrounding territories . But VistaJet until recently didn’t feel as if it had the “ amount of aircraft we needed” to launch a full-scale base .
VistaJet has been rapidly evolving its fleet , adding more Globals and Challengers , which Moore says gives the company the right mix to increase its services within the Asia-Pacific region . Once VistaJet receives the AOC , plans call to initially station a Global 6000 and Challenger 850 in the country . The services , though, will be augmented by VistaJet ’s fleet that it can position within the region .
The AOC application process is well underway, Moore says, adding VistaJet has been working toward the operational approval for nearly two years. He also notes VistaJet has firmed up a partner , but says a number of details still need to be ironed out.
VistaJet last fall named Jet Aviation as its international services provider in Asia , along with the Europe , Middle East and Africa ( EMEA ) and Asia regions . In Asia , Jet Aviation has FBOs in both Singapore and Hong Kong .
That expanded a partnership announced a few months earlier under which Jet Aviation Flight Services would manage and operate VistaJet aircraft on its certificate in the U.S.
The company has been one of the fastest-growing operators worldwide, with nearly 25% annual revenue growth . The company ’s fleet has grown to 40 aircraft and should reach 45 by the end of the year. The company actually is slated to take delivery of 15 more aircraft this year, but is cycling out older models as they reach the end of their warranties .
While VistaJet has been gaining experience in partnerships through its work in the U.S. , as well as a separate operation in Europe , Moore says each region operates differently. He notes that while the Chinese market is still maturing and there is an ongoing education process about business aviation , “at the same time , the market is educating us.”
VistaJet wants to ensure that it is not a European company that comes in with European services , but those that meet the needs of the Greater China region . At the same time , Moore notes that VistaJet has already begun to create a presence in the region . “We’re not novices .”
VistaJet is targeting customers who fly at least 50 hr. annually, Moore says, adding that the more people fly , the more they prefer consistency in their airplanes and a certain level of services . VistaJet sees China as a key base as it works toward a vision of providing global services . “Looking at the Asia market , we’re excited about the opportunity ,” Moore says. “Not just in China , but in the greater region .”