Founded by Swiss entrepreneur Thomas Flohr in 2004, VistaJet is the world’s first global business aviation company, organising flights for businesses, governments and private clients on board its fleet of more than 70 jets in more than 180 countries.
With a straightforward philosophy of delivering “the very best” to its clients, VistaJet removes the risks of plane ownership while exceeding the expectations of its customers.
“Thomas and the board of investors are incredibly knowledgeable and with growing capital and a team of executives with decades of experience, they know how to stay ahead,” says Ian Moore, VistaJet’s CCO.
As the first in the industry to take what he calls a “holistic” approach to private aviation, Ian says that VistaJet is in the middle of opportunistic times to capitalise on the demand for bespoke aviation services.
“We have the record and reputation to pursue opportunities that nobody else can. Our 1,000 aviation experts speak more than 50 languages in this company and we’re not just focused on being the best in New York, Stockholm or Dubai. We’re offering our services globally.”
As the CCO, VistaJet’s global presence is Ian’s main focus. Having joined the company in 2010, he was instrumental in the launch of its holding group, Vista Global, in a late 2018 bid to consolidate the fragmented industry.
Encompassing VistaJet, Vista Lease and XOJET, Vista Global integrates a variety of private aviation services that “create a new way to fly and push the industry forward”.
These three services, Ian tells The CEO Magazine, mean that the company has had the opportunity to increase its international standing, bolstering services and operations globally, including the Middle East, India and Africa.
“These regions are hubs for travel and finance, connecting Asia, Africa, Europe and Russia, and are important for all of our travel routes. It makes sense that we are present there.”
Although some see private aviation as a luxury, Ian points out that VistaJet provides its service as a business tool and the regions it connects signify this. Still, the company remains committed to its client-based focus, with Ian saying that VistaJet’s success has come from working closely with customers to perfect their in-flight experience.
“Our aim is to extend the lifestyles of customers into the air,” Ian explains. “If we have a client who has a dietary requirement or needs the cabin to have a certain type of music, temperature or fragrance, we’re catering to their specific requests. Our crew pay attention to the nuances of the in-flight experience and can adjust that from one client to the next.
“As an example, we have a client who has flown with us hundreds of times who was talking to me about some amazing soup she had eaten on board one of our flights.
I thought to myself that with all the places in the world we procure from, this must have been some fantastic soup; it turned out though that one of our hostesses had made it in the kitchen. It was her homemade soup, and I appreciated knowing we have people working for us who are willing to do that for our clients.”
Ian says that VistaJet’s employees are so seamless and discreet when it comes to meeting clients’ needs that most don’t realise how much work is done up to the very last minute. “We’ll get a client’s profile a little late or we’ll need to switch out an aircraft at short notice, and it can be difficult to tailor a customer’s experience because of that.
We’re not organising a presidential suite in a hotel; this is something with a lot of moving parts. Our crew and support team excel at bringing a client’s experience on the ground into the air.”
Whether the company’s workers are trying to find a movie for a client’s child or a chew toy for their dog, Ian says VistaJet’s staff are agile and ready to meet any of their needs. “I’m lucky to work with so many people who have it in their DNA that the customer comes first.”
Talking to The CEO Magazine about his experience with VistaJet, Ian says he has been excited by the challenges and the upheaval of the private aviation industry.
However, he understands that a lot of people don’t fit with the culture, saying that it’s “alright to struggle with change. I embrace it, though, and try to set a positive example for the people who work here.
“The industry brings a lot of satisfaction and opportunities, but it is stressful work. You need to be able to balance the two and know that the job is never going to be easy. But I love the work and the amazing people I meet every day. It’s an endurance test, but if you can look back on your years of work and smile, it’s worth it.”
Having worked in business aviation for more than 17 years, the industry’s challenges have kept Ian engaged. “I like being challenged and I like working with people who have a breadth of experience, and we need people at VistaJet who embrace that attitude.
A lot of amazing résumés come across my desk all the time and I can tell if these people are suited to the environment just from looking at where they’ve been.
I’m honest about the culture we have here, and I have the ability to tell if someone won’t fit.” Ian says he doesn’t have a science, philosophy or method for discerning the mindset of applicants.
“I just ask them, ‘What do you know about entrepreneurial companies?’ Most people say they want to work in one, but I want them to know that the structure is flat and loose. I love it because it creates opportunities for me, and to succeed we need people around who embrace that, too.”