The parent company of VistaJet and XO, Vista Global, has agreed to acquire AIR HAMBURG, one of Europe’s largest aircraft charter operators. The acquisition adds 44 aircraft and 650 staff to the company.
AIR HAMBURG Background
Founded in 2006, AIR HAMBURG has grown to be the largest private jet operator by number of flights across Europe, organizing over 18,800 flights for its clients in 2021. The company says this is second only to Vista in terms of hours flown, recording over 35,000 hours in 2021. In Europe alone it flys to over 1,000 destinations. 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 AIR HAMBURG fleet consists largely of Embraer jets including the large cabin Lineage 1000E, super-mid Legacy 600/650/650E and Praetor 600, mid-size Legacy 450/500 and light Phenom 300s. The fleet also includes The Dassault Falcon 7X, Citation XLS+ and Citation CJ3. All these aircraft will be available to all Vista Members.
Thomas Flohr, Vista’s Founder and Chairman said: “Today’s announcement brings a renowned institution of the European private aviation market into the Vista group and complements our growth and service offering across Europe and the Middle East. AIR HAMBURG is an impressive, well-established and profitable business with a long-standing track record in best-in-class client service — like Vista, it is known for its reliability and consistency throughout a scaling fleet and high utilization.
“Vista’s leading flying solutions, with a business model based on a floating fleet, allows us to implement a quick, seamless integration. This is yet another demonstration of Vista’s unrivaled commitment to ensuring all our Members have access to the best value flying solutions across the world at any given moment.
It is incredibly exciting to welcome over 650 highly-skilled new colleagues to become part of the Vista family of experts at one of the most exciting times for our industry. 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.”
The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Vista is one of the private aviation companies that is leading the consolidation of the highly fragmented business aviation ecosystem. This latest merger follows on the recent integrations of Apollo Jets, Talon Air and Red Wing Aviation. This latest transaction brings Vista’s group fleet to over 240 aircraft globally. All of these moves are building on the strong global demand for private aviation services.
Vista says that AIR HAMBURG will continue to operate under the AIR HAMBURG name. In addition to the aircraft charter business, Vista will integrate AIR HAMBURG’s EASA Part 145 maintenance hub at Baden Baden Airpark, along with its Executive Handling division and VIP lounge at Hamburg Airport which will be available for Vista Members to use.
Floris Helmers, AIR HAMBURG’s CEO and Managing Director said: “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. This cooperation between two of the largest operators means increasing our stability and securing further growth for our business, while allowing our team to showcase their strength and competencies to the most sophisticated clientele. We are looking forward to this next chapter in joining the Vista group.”