Thomas Flohr: Shaking up the business aviation Industry

Thomas Flohr: Shaking up the business aviation Industry

Thomas Flohr possesses the capacity to immediately see a problem that calls for an inventive solution, which is a trait shared by many successful businesspeople. In the context of business aviation, the problem consisted of devising a method that was both more time and cost-effective for passengers to use in order to reap the advantages of flying on a private jet while avoiding the responsibilities associated with aircraft ownership. The industry of business aviation has been entirely shaken up as a result of his solutions.

Flohr provides customers with two companies that cater to their specific travel requirements by partnering with Vista, the most successful private aviation firm in the world. XO offers a revolutionary digital platform and mobile app that enables people to instantly book a charter jet or seats, giving them access to over 2,400 aircraft across all classes. VistaJet provides clients with guaranteed access to a Members’ fleet of over 360 private jets through a subscription membership that is tailored to their specific requirements.

VistaJet is a well-known and respected brand in the private jet industry. The company was founded in 2004. Its unique silver and red jets have taken private individuals and high-profile corporate executives to 1,900 airports throughout 187 nations, which accounts for 96% of the world’s countries. Thomas Flohr launched XO in 2019 with the intention of revolutionizing the private jet travel industry by capitalizing on the adaptability offered by tech-driven flight booking on a worldwide scale. XO has already earned a reputation for having this effect.

The usage of private aircraft, both by individuals and by businesses, has been revolutionized as a result of the work done by Flohr, a Swiss businessman who began his career in computing and finance. On the other hand, he indicated to McKinsey & Company that Vista had the opportunity for development and expansion.

“We have stumbled onto a really significant opportunity. “We have a small fraction of what we see as the total addressable market of 23,000 existing corporate airplanes,” Flohr told McKinsey. “Today, with more than 360 aircraft, we have a small fraction of what we see as the total addressable market.” “I would like us to have 15 to 20% market share by the end of the decade.”

Thomas Flohr’s Personal Experience Led to the Creation of Vista

Flohr’s personal experiences were a major factor in his decision to pursue a career in the commercial aviation industry. In the year 2000, Flohr had the idea to charter a private plane so that he could pay a visit to some of the clients of his asset finance company. He concluded that there were insufficient options and no globally coordinated system of any kind.

“There were no global brands I felt I could trust, which seemed remarkable for an industry that sells to the wealthiest and most influential people on the planet,” Flohr explained to McKinsey & Company.

The enterprising businessman saw a need in the market for private jet services and decided to build his firm, launching it initially in Europe under the name VistaJet.

Thomas Flohr Founds VistaJet

Flohr established VistaJet with the intention of providing executives with an alternative to the inefficient use of corporate-owned jets by encouraging them to join a membership subscription service instead.

This novel strategy provided customers with access to a worldwide fleet while at the same time enabling them to pay only for the hours of flight time that they actually utilized and relieving them of the liabilities associated with aircraft ownership. The concept was received positively. VistaJet clients now enjoy guaranteed access to a Members’ fleet of more than 360 super-midsize, long-range, and ultra-long-range aircraft located all over the world. This service began with just two planes based in Europe.

According to Thomas Flohr, the success of his company is predicated on the fact that it offers clients practical solutions to their business problems. He established a company that overcame a persistent problem that had been plaguing the commercial world.

During the interview with McKinsey, he stated, “I believe that corporations should invest their equity in building their core businesses.” “I believe that corporations should invest their equity in building their core businesses.” Providing aviation services is the kind of service that is simple to contract out. Why would you want your equity to be tied down in a venture that is not your primary line of business? As a result, I have faith in subscription-based business models.

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Thomas Flohr Creates Vista, Providing More Value for Clients

In 2018, Flohr established Vista as a group company, which enabled the company to expand its market reach, purchasing power, and operational effectiveness. Customers have the option of purchasing either VistaJet or XO when they work with Vista. In addition to this, it provides all of its customers with access to international business aviation services.

Flohr informed McKinsey that Vista is currently operating at the forefront of the ongoing consolidation process that is taking place in the private aircraft sector. He will pursue purchase opportunities if he believes they will be beneficial to the company from a financial and operational perspective. During the year 2022, for instance, he mentioned in the interview that the company had bought Air Hamburg, Jet Edge, and Camber Technologies.

The requirements of passengers are the primary focus of Vista’s operations. In addition to providing travelers with comfort, worldwide access, and a high level of service, Vista also provides connectivity, which enables travelers to continue working and maintaining their social relationships while on the road. Vista solves this issue on the fleets of its Members with a product called LuxStream, which enables in-flight connectivity around the clock and the streaming of information in ultra-high definition to a variety of connected devices.

Vista’s Two Brands: VistaJet and XO

The parent business of VistaJet and XO is known simply as Vista. Both services provide customers with an approach to flying on a private jet that is focused on maximizing value. Both brands provide passengers with unique access points to these perks but in very different ways.

When discussing VistaJet, Flohr wants to emphasize how easy and effective the service is by pointing out both of these qualities. This is made abundantly clear on the homepage of the VistaJet website, which allows customers to easily enter information regarding their departure and destination, as well as the dates on which they intend to travel. After that, VistaJet makes contact with them to inquire about their requirements and inclinations.

Clients who are members of the VistaJet Program have guaranteed access to the fleets of Vista Members no matter where they are in the world with as little as 24 hours’ notice. The VJ25 membership, on the other hand, is designed for low-frequency fliers who anticipate having a requirement for a private jet for 25 to 49 flying hours annually. Last but not least, the VistaJet Corporate membership grants companies the flexibility to fly an unlimited number of hours, adjust the times of their departures and arrivals, and make a request for a second aircraft.

The fleet of more than 360 aircraft owned by Vista Members includes the Bombardier Challenger 350, the Cessna Citation XLS, and the largest fleet of Bombardier Global 7500 in the world, which consists of 18 planes and can fly for up to 17 hours without making a stop.

Customers have access to more than 2,400 aircraft throughout the world when they make flight requests through XO. This includes the more than 360 aircraft that are available through the fleet of Vista Members, in addition to the more than 2,100 aircraft that are available through the fleet of the XO alliance. XO has evaluated the safety of the alliance fleet, and it features aircraft with a variety of cabin classes as well as worldwide coverage to accommodate passengers with varying needs.

Because XO is tech-driven, it gives consumers the ability to rapidly book flights on routes on a range of aircraft by using a mobile app or the website for XO. These bookings can be made through the customers’ membership, charter, or seats. In addition, XO makes its Aviation Advisers available around the clock to assist customers in selecting flights.

Simplifying things is a priority for both of the companies. Flohr intended to provide an experience that is not just trustworthy and reliable but also uncomplicated. A customer of VistaJet, for instance, is only required to sign a contract that is five pages long.

“Uncomplicated, productive, trustworthy, and worldwide. According to what Flohr said on the VistaJet website, “This is what we are known for and what we excel at doing.” In addition, he mentioned that VistaJet provides “an experience in the cabin that is unmatched by any other airline flying into and out of the most remote locations.”

A high level of customer service is another factor that has contributed to the success of the organization. Customers receive individualized service from VistaJet, which is delivered with the utmost care and attention to every detail. For instance, as a home away from home, cabins are built to meet a variety of requirements, such as providing a business suite that is fully furnished or a quiet room for families.

Customers can make use of abundant amenities such as Christofle silverware and porcelain, cashmere blankets and sheets, and plush bed linens. Along with an onboard entertainment system, it features a library with selections chosen by the London bookstore Heywood Hill. Famous chefs and restaurants craft delectable dishes, and the restaurant’s wine lists feature selections that are meant to be enjoyed at higher elevations. The British Butler Institute, MedAire, Norland College, and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust are the educational institutions that provide training for the VistaJet Cabin Hosts.

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