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How Thomas Flohr and VistaJet Are Elevating the Business Traveler Experience

Business travel focuses first and foremost on the issue of time, a precious commodity entrepreneurs and executives can ill afford to waste. But business travel also has come to transcend mere transportation. With VistaJet, the only global business aviation company, travelers enjoy a home-away-from-home environment that supports productivity.

This has happened by design. When he founded VistaJet in 2004, Swiss businessman Thomas Flohr wanted to create reliable, worldwide transportation for his clients. But he also wanted to create an environment that improved on the inconsistent service he had experienced himself as a business traveler. He sought to create a private business airline that offers personalized service and access to some of the best the world has to offer.

The intent of VistaJet is not to “wow” passengers with luxury items and services, but to ensure they have everything they need to continue productivity from the ground to the sky. VistaJet’s cabin design, consistent across the fleet, welcomes passengers worldwide, and passengers can use a fully enabled business suite or relax in a restful family space. The cabins are equipped for all needs.

Thomas Flohr told L’Officiel that he considers upscale services to provide “peace of mind” for clients. He added, “Luxury is being surrounded by products or providers that allow you to focus on what is important for you. That’s why learning about our clients is so important, and giving them that comfort of a continuation of their lifestyle: It creates time and energy for them to focus on what is important.”

What Do Clients Enjoy on VistaJet?

The unparalleled experience on board starts with the cabin team. VistaJet cabin hosts are trained by the British Butler Institute, MedAire, Norland College, and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. They receive instruction in firefighting, service excellence, and communication skills; they’re also trained in food safety, hygiene, and advanced plating with a top chef.

Business travelers have access to the fastest Wi-Fi available, as well as a business suite that gives them both comfort and privacy. VistaJet provides private dining with a seasonal menu that can be customized to taste for executives and their guests.

Through VistaJet’s dedicated Corporate membership, travelers can also book more than one plane at the same time to fly multiple executives should they need. They also may have more flexibility to alter flight departure times if, for example, meetings run slightly longer or shorter than expected.

Thomas Flohr believes one of the keys to offering an upscale experience involves consistency. That’s important for business travelers, the largest segment of the VistaJet client base, as well as ultra-high-net-worth individuals, which Thomas Flohr told L’Officiel is the second most significant segment of VistaJet’s customer base. He said even among individuals with a high net worth, there’s a business connection to the flight, such as a conductor flying to a concert or an actor going on a promotional tour for a movie.

“I always say that all our clients are somehow celebrities: leading surgeons, opera singers, investment bankers who are stars in their field. Once in the cabin, they expect a continuation of their lifestyle, something that has not been offered before in this industry,” Thomas Flohr shared with L’Officiel. “They want things to fit with their lives. We invest heavily into intelligent technology to understand our clients and learn as much as we can to then offer exactly that detailed service on board. It’s very tailored to what the clients actually want.”

Transforming the Private Dining Experience

Having flown for years as a business traveler before founding VistaJet in 2004, Thomas Flohr knew that business travelers often dealt with inconsistent services. The only consistent aspect of meals involved the apprehension business travelers felt about what they might be served.

Flohr has sought to change that with VistaJet. On the ground, clients are accustomed to fine dining. And 45,000 feet in the air on board the Vista Members’ fleet of over 300 aircraft, VistaJet caters to all their culinary needs, partnering with Michelin-starred restaurants and over 7,000 of the finest purveyors and suppliers who furnish fresh ingredients to craft discerning seasonal dishes such as tuna carpaccio, Atlantic cod chowder with sea vegetables, and saffron and red wine poached pear.

Diego Sabino, vice president of private dining, said the menus are the result of a journey to “transform” the private dining experience. “We have explored the art and science of dining at high altitude, creating delectable flavors that our members can enjoy together on board, whatever the occasion.”

VistaJet Raised the Bar With the Bombardier Fleet

The level of service extends to the aircraft themselves. With VistaJet, Thomas Flohr set out to create something that had never been seen: a global private jet fleet. He’s largely accomplished that goal, as VistaJet aircraft have traveled to 96% of the world’s countries and 1,900 airports.

Flohr’s purchase of Bombardier jets has expanded what the company offers clients. The largest three aircraft are the Global 5000, Global 6000, and Global 7500. The Global 5000 seats 13 people, provides sleeping areas for seven, and has a range of 9,630 kilometers (about 5,983 miles). The Global 6000 seats 14, furnishes sleep areas for seven, and has a range of 11,100 km. The Global 6000 also has a three-zone cabin that includes a large galley.

The Global 7500 is the world’s largest and longest-range business jet, and Vista has the largest fleet of them in the world, with 18 jets available globally. It can seat 14 and provides sleeping areas for eight people. It can fly 17 hours nonstop with a range of 14,260 km. To put that into context, it can fly nonstop from Miami to Athens, Greece, or from New York City to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The cabin features four separate living spaces, including a permanent stateroom.

Additionally, included in the Vista Members’ fleet are the iconic Gulfstream, the versatile Embraer, the classic Cessna, and the aerodynamically elegant Dassault, providing a craft for every situation and destination.