Business aviation company VistaJet is buying European rival Air Hamburg in a deal that is expected to boost its flight hours by almost one-third.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount via Vista Global Holding, comes as business aviation enjoys a boom in demand worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With commercial flights having been grounded and people seeking to minimize contact with others when traveling, the pandemic has brought new customers to the business aviation market. Vista offers a flight hour subscription plan or charter services, providing access to more than 80 private jets worldwide.
Vista said the acquisition, which brings another 44 aircraft and 650 employees under its wing, will boost its scale and complement its business across Europe and the Middle East.
Air Hamburg organized more than 18,800 flights for clients in 2021, making it the largest private jet operator by number of flights across Europe, Vista said. Air Hamburg is second to Vista in terms of hours flown, recording over 35,000 hours in 2021.
“As a result, Vista expects an increase of around 30% in flight hours (on a combined basis) globally following the completion of the transaction,” the company said.
Vista said it was playing an active role in trying to bring together more companies in the fragmented business aviation market, highlighting its recent integrations of Apollo Jets, Talon Air, and Red Wing Aviation.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work closely with the leadership team to ensure both companies capitalize fully on the global opportunities within the expanding private aviation market,” Thomas Flohr, founder and chairman of Vista, said in a statement on February 21, 2022.
As part of the deal, Vista is also acquiring Air Hamburg’s maintenance hub at Baden Baden Airpark.
“This is an incredible opportunity to remain at the top of the growing business aviation market. Over the last three years we have experienced strong growth, significantly increasing our market share across Europe and beyond” Floris Helmers, CEO and managing director of Air Hamburg, commented.