Vista Global had an extremely resilient performance against the challenging backdrop of 2020. Throughout the pandemic, we stayed open, supporting global businesses; our market share continued to grow; and I am proud to say that no redundancies were made — ending the year stronger than ever.
The Group’s underlying performance has given us renewed confidence in the strength of our business, and the stability which underpins our model was further proven. With our global client base, infrastructure and floating fleet, our assets are able to move to wherever demand is greatest, ensuring operations are fully optimized and ongoing. During the peak of the pandemic, we quickly scaled back operational costs, while the business’ highly generative cash model and the prudent financial decisions made through 2020 have resulted in a robust liquidity position, with broad access to capital, to be able to support our growth strategy.
2020 has demonstrated the rising demand for business aviation as a safer and more reliable alternative to commercial flying. Supporting passengers and their businesses with a global infrastructure during 2021 will be paramount as clients increasingly require maximum safety and guaranteed access to travel services across the globe. VistaJet’s commitment to guaranteeing 24/7 availability to fly anywhere, anytime has been a core differentiator throughout the pandemic and clearly drove clients’ preference, while XO’s technology platform — providing instant booking solutions and a vast suite of options — broadened access to business jets in an unprecedented way, welcoming a new segment of clients entering the market.
As the largest on demand charter company by hours flown, Vista cemented its position as the world leader in air mobility. Increase in memberships offset the enforced slowdown in flight activity as we added more Members than ever before to both our VistaJet and XO branded solutions — growing by 18% and 147% respectively. In the second half of the year, the business returned to growth with flight activity up year-over-year, despite ongoing global flight restrictions, much of which was driven by North America.
Our deployed technology remains a major differentiator in the market, and with a relentless approach to innovation, we remain at the cutting edge of the industry to benefit our clients. Ensuring bespoke and tailored solutions to their needs with a renewed focus on safety, we put in place a number of initiatives, including new products, new partnerships, new aircraft and new technology. Our client-first approach has created a deep product-market fit and we will continue to lead the global adoption of new air mobility solutions.
Vista is always driving efficiency and optimization across the value-chain, to offer clients the best flying solutions at the best value. They are increasingly demanding digital solutions in the modern economy and our proprietary technology gives us a significant advantage within the industry, creating superior client value and elevated end-to-end experience, simply said: click-to-flight.
As I look ahead, I remain more confident than ever that our business model is absolutely the right one, and the industry in which we operate is about to witness unprecedented change. As more people are vaccinated and the world continues to open up, we are expecting a resurgence in flight activity to take place in the second half of 2021.
Business aviation has performed an essential service through the pandemic when commercial airlines stopped and it will be a long time before their network is restored. During this period, we will continue to convert prospects to clients as we have done in 2020. It is for these reasons that we have steadily and carefully continued on our growth plans.
The acquisitions of Red Wing Aviation in 2020 and Apollo Jets in early 2021 will both further expand our footprint in North America — the largest business aviation market in the world — and fill the gap in our business model with the inclusion of aircraft in the light jet category and those under management. Additionally, we will continue strengthening the fleet, taking delivery of our first two Global 7500 aircraft in late Q1-2021. A hugely exciting moment as it will make VistaJet the only business operator that is able to fly clients from New York to Hong Kong non-stop, and 20% faster than ever before. At XO, we have already added four new aircraft in 2021 with more to come during the rest of the year.
I am immensely proud that over the last 16 years we have been able to build a truly global infrastructure and the market-leading technology platform to serve our clients anytime, anywhere. Our team of experts has ultimately proven its strength and value in such an incredibly challenging year — our ability to adapt, change, discover and offer new solutions to our clients is what makes us the best business aviation provider in the world. It is a pivotal and exciting time in our sector, and I am extremely aware of the critical, growing role air mobility will play as part of the global economy for years to come.
Vista Global Holding’s (Vista) subsidiaries provide worldwide business flight services. A global group headquartered at the DIFC in Dubai, Vista integrates a unique portfolio of companies offering asset-free services to cover all key aspects of business aviation: guaranteed and on demand global flight coverage; subscription and Membership solutions; and cutting-edge mobility technology. The Group’s mission is to lead the change to provide clients with the most advanced flying services at the very best value, anytime, anywhere around the world. Vista’s knowledge and understanding of all facets of the industry deliver the best end-to-end offering and technology to all business aviation clients, through its VistaJet and XO branded services and duly licensed carriers. Vista is not a direct air carrier and does not operate or charter flights.