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VistaJet continues to fly high from Qatar World Cup

women, air hostesses VistaJet
VistaJet's pay-per-hours-flown model provides subscribers with private jet charters
  • Private jet firm witnessed 100% growth in flights from Doha this year
  • Al Maktoum International Airport busiest airport in region
  • Economic uncertainty means increase in subscription model for jet travel

Private jet operator VistaJet has seen enduring business benefits from the Qatar World Cup, staged at the end of 2022.

It witnessed a 146 percent year-on-year increase in its Qatar flights in 2022, driven by a 561 percent rise in December compared to the same month in 2021.

Demand at the Dubai-based company has continued since the final whistle of the tournament, with a further 100 percent growth in flights from Doha reported in January and 122 percent in February.

“After Covid we were expecting a 30 percent drop in numbers. That didn’t happen,” said Matteo Atti, VistaJet’s chief marketing officer.

“And now we’re seeing new interest in Qatar. The new people who started coming on board are saying, ‘you know what, it actually makes a huge difference’.”

The increase in demand is in fact reflected across the Middle East, where there was a 22 percent increase in the number of flights during 2022.

Saudi Arabia saw a 72 percent increase year-on-year “driven by investment opportunities created by Neom”.

Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport was the busiest airport in the Middle East for VistaJet members last year and the sixth globally.

“The Gulf region is one of the fastest growing regions in the world,” Atti said.

VistaJet, which uses a pay-per-hours-flown model to provide its subscribers with private jet charters, first opened an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre in 2018, with two members of staff. 

Since then, holding company Vista Global Holding (Vista) has grown to a team of 45 and it plans to double in size with a move to new offices in the next month or so.

“By the end of the year we should have 90 people in Dubai,” said Atti.

During 2022 Vista added 117 net aircraft including more Global 7500 jets, now at 18 — the world’s largest fleet of this aircraft — bringing the Vista members’ fleet to over 360 aircraft around the world.

The private jet market is projected to grow from $25.87 billion in 2021 to $36.94 billion by 2028, a compound annual growth rate of 5.22 percent, according to a 2022 report from Fortune Business Insights.

Atti said the current global economic uncertainty, with increasing interest rates and inflation placing pressures on the bottom lines of businesses, has created a “positive moment” for the company.

He explained that while companies previously operated a fleet of their own aircraft, many are choosing to downsize or move completely to a subscription model.

“We play at the top end where we are the alternative to buying an aircraft,” he said.

“The number of meetings has increased dramatically, with CFOs looking into alternative ways to fly and mobilise capital away from owning an aircraft.”

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