VistaJet: Global 7500 Is The Right Aircraft At The Right Time for Middle East

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9H-VIE photographed during a stop-off at Farnborough Airport en route to Dubai.
Credit: Angus Batey/ShowNews

Ian Moore, VistaJet's chief commercial officer, is not entirely sure whether 9H-VIE—the aircraft his company has brought for its static display at the Dubai Airshow—is the newest of the four Global 7500s that Bombardier has so far delivered to the international private airline.

“I think it's the fourth or the third,” he says. “I never really care, because they all look identical.”

His uncertainty is understandable, and underlines an important point—particularly about VistaJet's growing popularity in the Middle East. The region’s private fleet has a higher proportion of long-range larger-cabin aircraft than is normal elsewhere, some of which have cabins that redefine opulence and extravagance. But VistaJet's understated approach, uniform design style and business model are proving popular as the region’s customer base changes.

“Sons and daughters of business owners that are coming through have grown up in a kind of Uber world, and they understand the shared-ownership model,” he says. “And the optics of aircraft ownership has changed. Maybe in the past, people would've been looking for larger, newer-cabin aircraft to own themselves. They still might want to do that—but they don't want the optics of having it on their books or available at the airport. So I think our business model works perfectly with the change of demographics around the world, and that applies to the Middle East as well.”

The company provides two main products: a guaranteed-availability scheme where customers buy blocks of flight hours, and an on-demand service where availability is dependent on fleet utilization. The Global 7500s, which have been in high use since VistaJet took delivery of its first earlier this year, are priced within the products in a way that encourages efficient use. Anyone hoping to use the 7,700 mi.-range jet for short trips can still do so, but will have to pay a premium.

VistaJet expects to receive three more 7500s before the end of the year, with a further six to follow in 2022. The aircraft’s capabilities make it a particularly appealing platform for users in the Middle East, Moore says.

“The most important thing it does is brings that extra range,” he says. “It’ll get you to Washington non-stop. The size, comfort and luxury mirrors what clients are looking for in that market. We’ve always had an aircraft at the Dubai Airshow, and I’m more excited to go to the region than in quite some time, because I think we’ve got the right aircraft at the right time.”