Aviation

VistaJet boosts African operations with 91% surge in customer growth … deploys Challenger 605 for enhanced regional connectivity

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Philippe Scalabrini, President of Europe and Africa at VistaJet, has highlighted the strong performance of the African aviation market, noting a significant rise in demand with a 91 per cent increase in new customers in the first quarter of 2024 compared to 77 per cent in the same period in 2023. 

Speaking at the VistaJet Accra roadshow where the new Challenger 605 was unveiled, Scalabrini expressed optimism about the region’s market potential, attributing the growth to both business and leisure travel.

“We’ve seen a compelling uptick in our service uptake, driving us to bolster our presence with dedicated aircraft like the Challenger 605,” Scalabrini said. “Our commitment extends beyond connecting to Europe or the Middle East; there’s a strong demand for intra-African flights, and we’re expanding our service to meet this need locally.”

VistaJet has strategically positioned three aircraft in the region to ensure rapid and reliable service across the vast continent. “Our model is about execution and quick service delivery. You can’t promise guaranteed services and not follow through immediately,” he added.

The introduction of the Challenger 605 is part of a broader strategy to enhance regional connectivity within Africa. The jet, selected for its eight-hour range and reliability, allows non-stop flights to major cities like Paris, London, and Dubai. “It’s perfect for both short hauls and connecting Africa to the world,” noted Scalabrini.

VistaJet, which has been operational for 20 years and active in the sub-region for 14 years, has seen robust demand, particularly for flights between West Africa and Europe, and regional connections including Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. 

The company’s business model, emphasizing efficiency and a shared cost structure, has set it apart in the private aviation space. Clients only pay for occupied flight time, which enhances efficiency and reduces impact. The company, headquartered in Switzerland, operates over 300 aircraft globally and remains committed to sustainability. “Our new fleet, including the Global 75, significantly reduces our carbon footprint while maintaining our promise of global accessibility,” Scalabrini concluded. VistaJet continues to evolve its services around client needs, making it a leader in the $35 billion private aviation industry.

By Eugene Davis

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