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VistaJet acquires Jet Edge in consolidation wave

Vista Global Holding has agreed to buy Jet Edge, the eighth largest operator in North America based on fractional and charter flight hours. Founded in 2011, Jet Edge is an integrated charter, management and brokerage platform and a leading U.S. provider of large-cabin and super-midsize private jet charter and aircraft management services. Jet Edge has a run rate of 60,000+ yearly flight hours, exclusively in the large-cabin and super-midsize category. Following the completion of the transaction in Q2 2022 Vista expects its fleet availability to expand to approximately 350 aircraft. The merger is the latest step in Vista’s relentless transformation of the highly fragmented business aviation ecosystem. This deal follows Vista’s acquisition of charter operator, maintenance and FBO company Air Hamburg at the start of last month.

Vista’s maintenance services in North America will expand with the acquisition of Jet Edge’s Part 145 maintenance facility, located strategically on the West Coast. Vista will acquire Jet Edge aircraft, hospitality and maintenance facilities, while its U.S. strategic operating partner XOJET Aviation will acquire a majority stake of the Part 135 certificates of Jet Select and Western Air Charter.


Bizjet activity still growing but at a less robust pace

Global business aircraft activity continues to increase but at a less robust pace, according to WingX’s weekly Global Market Tracker: The war in Ukraine is spilling into the general economy and is likely to impact investment decisions, which will inevitably slow the rebound we’ve seen in business jet travel in the last 12 months. That said, on a global level, we are still seeing business aviation activity well above the norm for pre-pandemic months of March.

As the war in Ukraine moves into its second month, aviation activity out of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine continues to dwindle, falling a further 50% in the last 7 days. Compared to the same week in 2019, total civilian fixed wing activity in these three countries is down by 48%. Business aviation, 2.5% of total activity from the region, has fallen by two thirds in the last week compared to 2019 and by over 70% compared to March 2021. The top international destination for business jets flying out of Russia in the last week is Istanbul. Dubai is also a frequent destination. Apart from Belgrade, no European city destinations show up in the top 10 global city destinations for flights out of these regions.

Despite the significantly deteriorated geopolitical outlook in March 2022, and the already-materialising impact on economic outlook, business jet flight activity is still setting records. Compared to March 2019, last month’s global business jet sectors are up by around 20%. There is arguably some slowdown, with the last 7-day trend at “only” 19% above same week in 2019. Scheduled (passenger airline) operations continue to trend at 30% below normal.


Bombardier delivers final Learjet

Bombardier has delivered its final production model after a nearly sixty year production run in Wichita and around 22 years since the OEM acquired the brand itself. After a short ceremony, the last new Learjet 75 rolled out of the hangar. More than 3,000 Learjet aircraft have been delivered since the first Learjet 23 was manufactured in 1964 and some 2,000 are still flying.

Bombardier, which announced plans more than a year ago to discontinue Learjet production, assured all operators it will continue to support the product line. Executive VP of operations Paul Sislian said, “Bombardier is committed to making sure that these 2,000 aircraft presently in service will keep flying well into the future.”


People: Soeren Stark: New chairman of the executive board of Lufthansa Technik

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

The Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik, Dr. Johannes Bussmann (53), will leave the Lufthansa Group at his own request later this year. After more than seven years in his current role and 10 years on the executive board, he will hand over leadership of the company to COO Soeren Stark (55). Subject to the approval of the Supervisory Board, he will assume his new role on 1 July 2022.

Soeren Stark, joined Lufthansa Technik's Executive Board as Chief Operations Officer in January 2019. In this role, he was responsible for Technical Operations, Logistics and IT. As the "accountable manager" within the meaning of EASA Part 145, Soeren Stark was the point of contact for the aviation authorities on all matters relating to the maintenance and manufacturing operations of Lufthansa Technik AG. Previously, Stark headed the Executive Board department Operations at Lufthansa Cargo AG for three years. He began his career at Lufthansa Technik in 2004 as Managing Director of Lufthansa Technik Logistik in Hamburg. From 2011 to 2016, the industrial engineer headed the aircraft overhaul business at Lufthansa Technik AG.

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