Private Jet operator lists challenges in African aviation, relaunch charter services

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By Emmanuel Obisue

Global aviation firm, VistaJet, has identified a plethora of challenges inherent in the African aviation space, as it re-launched charter services for premium and middle class clients in Africa.

The operators who are celebrating 20 years of global charter services, held a media tour with journalists on Thursday at the Murtala Muhammed Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International airports respectively.

VistaJet President for Europe and Africa, Philippe Scalabrini while onboard one of its fleet – the Bombardier Challenger 605, listed Africa’s massive landscape, stringent regulatory policies as some of the challenges that have scared other private jet operators from the continent. “We can be in Mozambique now, and the next booking would be Morocco,” he said.

He said his company which has over 300 executive fleets currently flying the globe, has up 20 fleet reserved to fly in and out of Africa on a daily basis.

Scalabrini added that VistaJet is offering an alternative to business clients who would have preferred to buy private jets to take advantage of its business model by purchasing a minimum of 50 hours over a period of time, to save them personal operating costs. “Our client can buy 50 hours annually for instance. What we do is that we simplify and make access to private aviation services as seamless as possible,” he said. “Nigeria is a very big aviation market and so we are providing an alternative to aircraft acquisition, a solution where someone can buy 100 hours for instance.”

On affordability of the firm’s services and its stand-out qualities, the president said, “our client can fly point to point and we provide much more efficient, consistent product offering”.

“We have been in Africa for the past 14 years and we are happy to continue with the services we have been providing in the past years having flown to over 96 countries and over 2,400 airports across the world,” Scalabrini added.

He noted that in the last one year alone, its “customer traffic has increased by 28 per cent in the African continent and 58 per cent in the west African region”.

Nigerian Pilot reports that VistaJet recently announced its newest fleet acquisition – the Bombardier Global 7500 aircraft that offers up to 17 hours flight non-stop.