Vistajet Global 7500 in flight
VistaJet is adding seven more Global 7500s by year-end, which will bring its fleet of the 7,700-nm twinjets to 17 aircraft. The company is also eyeing the 8,000-nautical-mile Global 8000 as a possible stablemate. (Photo: VistaJet)

VistaJet Adds Long-range Aircraft

The charter provider, which has 10 Bombardier Global 7500s, will add seven more by year-end and is also eyeing the Global 8000.

Charter company VistaJet, which already operates 10 Bombardier Global 7500s, plans to take seven more by year-end, making it the largest operator of the 7,700-nautical-mile business jet. 

Three Challenger 350s are also set to join the Dubai, UAE company's lineup over the same period, boosting its super-midsize fleet to 27 aircraft. With 88 units—including 10 Challenger 605s, six Challenger 850s, seven Global 5000s, and 29 Global 6000s—VistaJet’s Bombardier fleet is the biggest in the world.

Ian Moore, VistaJet’s chief commercial officer, said that once the Challenger 350s and Global 7500s are delivered this year, there will be no more outstanding orders. But the company is apparently eying Bombardier’s new flagship—the Global 8000, which was launched last month at EBACE and is scheduled to enter service in 2025.

However, Moore was tight-lipped about whether a fresh order for the 8,000-nautical-mile, Mach 0.94 Global 8000 will be forthcoming. “All I can say is, watch this space,” he said.

“There is ramp envy in this market, and we need to ensure that we are staying up to date with the latest aircraft,” Moore continued. “Some of our customers will also value the 8000’s extra speed and range,” he said.

A possibility for VistaJet would be to upgrade its Global 7500 fleet to the 8000 specifications, noted Moore. “It will cost around $3 million for each aircraft, but it is definitely a consideration.”

To turn 7500s into its newer, longer-range stablemate, Bombardier said, changes are needed to the control software for the GE Passport engine and tweaks enabling more fuel to be carried. The certification framework for the modification will be available following service entry of the Global 8000, and will be issued via a service bulletin, the Canadian airframer added.

For VistaJet, long-haul routes are increasingly popular among its international clients. “Our customers are flying for longer, with a 15-hour flight from the Caribbean to Africa, the furthest we have flown to date,” said Moore. VistaJet’s offering consists of a dedicated VIP hours-based block charter program and an on-demand service, which accounts for 35 percent of its new business, according to Moore. 

To help expand its ad hoc charter offering, VistaJet parent company Vista Global Holding has so far acquired three notable operators—XOJet and Jet Edge in the U.S., and Germany’s Air Hamburg—which have a combined fleet of 180 business jets ranging in size from the Cessna Citation CJ3 light twin to the Embraer Lineage 1000E bizliner.

“There is a lot of potential in the on-demand market, and we are expanding the fleet to accommodate this growth,” said Moore. “In time we expect to see the ratio of program to on-demand business switch from 70/30—as it is today—to 60/40,” he added.