Thomas Flohr, founder and CEO of VistaJet, Vista Global and XO, acquired charter operator XOJet in 2018, acquired online flight marketplace JetSmarter and launched online booking platform XO earlier this year as part of his company’s growth strategy.
In this Q&A he discusses how his group of companies and the future of business aviation is being shaped by digital technologies.
Why did Vista Global acquire JetSmarter and XOJet Aviation? What are your plans for the new XO booking platform?
While I was growing my first company, VistaJet, into the brand it is today, I could see there would be significant demand for a larger group that could offer a truly combined customer offering, regardless of your budget and needs.
I knew that more could be done in our industry to further push for excellence for all private aviation customers. Our industry was too fragmented, technology was beginning to make its way into the sector and yet at the same time there remained a huge disconnect between the large amount of supply and high demand in the market.
I established Vista Global to create a network that manages the industry better, more efficiently, for both operators and for customers. By collaborating JetSmarter and XOJET Aviation, the ultimate goal of the new XO platform is to make flying privately simpler for everyone.
How will these companies be integrated into the brand and what does the future hold for the Vista Global now?
We’re introducing the most innovative technology, managing successful on demand operators and operating a live marketplace, whilst continuing to seek the best growth opportunities globally, albeit with different brands. VistaJet is the asset light alternative to aircraft ownership and XO is the digital marketplace On Demand flying.
We want to drive change throughout the industry by challenging, simplifying and enhancing the industry for the ultimate benefit of the customer. As for the future of Vista Global, most people would be content with what we have achieved in the past 12 months, changing the face of an industry and revolutionizing the customer experience, but we are always looking to push further.
We’ve built the scale, infrastructure and have the experience to challenge industry norms while bringing the most innovative products and technological solutions to strengthen our unrivalled customer offering.
What key challenges does the business aviation industry face over the next few years?
In the business aviation industry as in all industries, customers are looking for the latest technologies, a greater reliance upon the shared economy and are demanding corporations to be more environmentally and ethically responsible. We are challenging ourselves every day to harness the best technology and ensure there is greater flexibility in our offerings by providing a marketplace for all private flying customers.
Why do you think seat-sharing in private aviation is a more sustainable flight solution?
We’re continually flying the world’s leading CEOs and boards across the world – what we provide them with is a time-saving way of travel that completely removes stress and hassle. The largest problem are the wasted flights and seats.
With the creation of XO, we’re aiming to vastly reduce that by providing seat sharing options. If we have fliers that don’t need to book a whole aircraft, then they can book a seat on an existing flight and share with others. It means that flying is even more efficient and accessible for everyone involved.