VistaJet Yearly Earnings Drop as Private Jet Firm’s Debt Pile Grows - Hindustan Times
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VistaJet Yearly Earnings Drop as Private Jet Firm’s Debt Pile Grows

Bloomberg |
Apr 11, 2024 09:06 PM IST

VistaJet Group Holding Ltd., one of the world’s biggest private jet firms, saw its adjusted earnings drop roughly 5% last year as it debts mounted, according to documents seen by Bloomberg.

VistaJet Group Holding Ltd., one of the world’s biggest private jet firms, saw its adjusted earnings drop roughly 5% last year as it debts mounted, according to documents seen by Bloomberg.

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HT Image

The company, majority owned by Swiss businessman Thomas Flohr, reported 2023 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization dropped to about $801 million, from about $845 million in 2022. Fixed costs, including operating and staff expenses, jumped by about 30% to about $684 million for the Dubai-based firm.

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It was a “year of transition” as VistaJet focused on integrating operations from past acquisitions and refurbishing 93 aircraft, Flohr, founder and chairman of the closely held company, said in letters to investors. The private charter jet industry, which soared to all-time highs during pandemic, has been rattled by whipsawing fuel costs and geopolitical concerns, leading some rivals to rejigger their balance sheets.

VistaJet ended 2023 with about $3.9 billion in debt, which is a year-over-year increase of roughly $133 million. The firm was able to more than double its available liquidity to $270 million. 

Flohr said in a letter, that he expects to “materially” delever the company and noted that his 86% stake provides “an enormous equity cushion in the business which can be accessed to bolster liquidity.”

Representatives for the company did not respond to requests for comment.

Flohr acknowledged other challenges the company faced in 2023, including its auditor’s warning to investors last spring about its ability to continue operating and “attacks” on aspects of its business model. The company has alleged in legal filings that it has been targeted by a smear campaign from a private jet rival and a prominent British financier who is separately suing Flohr.

Debt in the company — which competes with Warren Buffett’s NetJets — traded down over the past year with one bond trading as low as 64 cents on the dollar in January, per Trace data. 

Still, the company was able to notch a nearly 7% year-over-year increase as revenue rose to more than $2.6 billion in 2023, with an 18% increase in hours its fleet spent flying. VistaJet also added 200 new members — an increase of 22% — to its subscription service, which charges an upfront annual payment under a multi-year contract.

Flohr described Vista’s dedicated 266-aircraft fleet and its multi-year subscription model as “the true alternative to aircraft ownership.”

“Vista carries the whole asset risk — and we are happy to do so. While our peers typically offload the asset risk to their clients, we looked at what commercial airlines do, and our balance sheet is no different from theirs,” he said in one of the letters.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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