In the continuing flow of deals in business aviation Vista Global, parent company of VistaJet and XO, is buying Apollo Jets. Apollo and its 4,000 clients will be integrated as a division of XO, Vista Global’s digital brand.
Apollo Jets Background
Apollo Jets was founded in 2008 and grew to become one of the country’s largest private jet charter brokerages. Clients include leading Fortune 500 companies, medium and large businesses, sports teams, celebrities and athletes, including stars such as Derek Jeter and Shaquille O’Neal.
Apollo has a sister company Talon Air which provides aircraft management services for both Part 135 and Part 91 aircraft. Talon is one of the largest charter operators in the USA.
Talon Air will continue to operate as a separate company and continue to be led by current CEO James Chitty, who is also a partner at Apollo.
Aircraft Management Service
As part of the acquisition, Vista Global’s digital brand, XO, will now offer a full aircraft management service to its existing clients and new owners, operated by Talon Air. This directly allows Vista Global to support individual aircraft owners with their maintenance and overhaul needs.
The Talon Air fleet will be commercially integrated with XO’s dedicated fleet offering availability in real-time through the XO app. At the same time, Talon Air management clients will now be able to offer their aircraft for charter to the Vista Global client base, taking advantage of the XO technology platform and reach.
The XO platform will give Apollo clients access to a Group-owned and managed fleet of over 160 aircraft, in addition to the safety-vetted Alliance Fleet of over 2,100 aircraft. Apollo will operate as an XO sub-brand, a division of XO, and the Apollo Jets team will run as an independent salesforce continuing to service their existing clients, while selling XO memberships to new and existing clients.
Thomas Flohr, Vista Global’s Founder and Chairman said: “The Apollo acquisition reinforces Vista Global’s unrivalled commitment to providing every business aviation client with the best value flying solutions around the world. I believe this is just the beginning of consolidation in our industry and Vista Global is leading this market transformation. We are excited to add the strongest independent team of client executives to our leading global infrastructure, to offer more and more clients the opportunity to access Vista Global’s worldwide flying solutions. Just as at Vista Global, Apollo’s company culture is centered around best-in-class client service through its extraordinary team, renowned personal trust and committed 24/7 availability. It is a hugely exciting time for Vista Global — this acquisition expands our global services to a rapidly growing membership and subscription base, and furthers our promise to new and current clients, anytime, anywhere.”
Vista Global says it expects to see an increase of over 20% in flights in North America following the Apollo acquisition.
The acquisition of Apollo is the latest in a series of M&A deals which have expanded Vista Global’s service offering, following on from the successful acquisitions of Red Wing Aviation in 2020, JetSmarter in 2019 and XOJET in 2018.
This latest transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
Since its foundation in 2018, the Vista Global Group says its revenues have nearly doubled, with a mix of owned, managed and alliance aircraft providing a platform to service growing revenue and provide solutions for clients globally. Additionally, staff numbers have doubled in just over two years to almost 2,000 employees around the world.