VistaJet, which operates the largest privately owned Bombardier business aircraft fleet with more than 45 aircraft, is growing by leaps and bounds. This year it entered the U.S. market as it pursues its strategy of connecting its customers to every corner of the world with point-to-point coverage.

“We are having an exceptional 2014,” says Thomas Flohr, founder and chairman of VistaJet. “This profitable growth strategy continues to be funded by strong earnings and cash flows. It has been our busiest summer since we launched, and I am particularly excited about the remainder of the year.”

Flights were up 21% year over year for the January-to-August period, and revenues are on track to grow 20-25% over 2013, marking several years of similar growth, notes commercial officer Ian Moore.

VistaJet is taking delivery of another 12 Bombardier aircraft worth $447 million in the second half of the year: three Globals, three Challenger 605s and two Challenger 350s. These will only incrementally increase the fleet size, as VistaJet is simultaneously retiring its six Learjet 60s and a handful of Challenger 605 and Globals as they pass three years old.

“We are moving toward the Challenger 350 as our entry aircraft,” says Moore. Indeed, the first two are the first 350s available in Europe, and they are proving very popular, flying more than 110 hours in the first three weeks of October. Four more will be added by the end of the year.

“It’s a fantastic aircraft,” says Moore. And, points out Flohr, VistaJet is the first in Europe to offer the 350 and his customers don’t have to wait another six to eight months to fly it. As more Challenger 350s enter the fleet, service will be added to Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Africa continues to be VistaJet’s fastest growth region. Expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific remains a priority, with new aircraft being placed in these regions to support increasing demand as capacity is at an all time high. VistaJet’s business in Russia and CIS remains strong, says Moore.

The U.S. fleet currently comprises three N-registered Global 5000s operated for VistaJet by Jet Aviation, and plans call for that to quadruple by the end of 2016. “We’re entering a market that we’re learning a lot about,” says Moore, and it is taking time for potential customers to appreciate VistaJet’s differentiating features, such as all-brand-new, 100%-available large-cabin aircraft. Moore notes that VistaJet has specialized in more-tailored, concierged services in the rest of the world, while the U.S. market “is more corporate.”

Meanwhile, VistaJet is finding it a great advantage to be able to offer continuing service to its international customers when they visit the U.S., he says.

Recent Order History

• November 2012 – VistaJet placed one of the largest single transactions in the history of business aviation, with firm orders for 56 new Bombardier Global aircraft with further options for an additional 86. Value: $7.2 billion.

• June 2013 – VistaJet placed a firm order for 20 Challenger 350 aircraft with further options for an additional 20. Value: $1.7 billion.

• January 2014 – VistaJet committed to lease 10 new Challenger 605 jets with International Aircraft Leasing and Trading (IALT) as part of its Challenger fleet renewal program.