As it happens with many leading entrepreneurs, the success of Thomas Flohr comes from a fortunate mix of intuition and good timing. The Founder and Chairman of Vista, currently the world’s largest on demand business aviation companies, reaching 96% of the globe with a fleet of 360 aircrafts, first started to fly privately for business in his previous career, while working for an American firm in the finance business sector.
Back in the day, the private flight sector was a very different story. Jets still flew to major cities and made it possible to be in four different places during the same day, interacting with clients face to face and boosting business relations. But routes were often confined to one region and the industry was burdened by a series of inefficient logistics and lengthy paperwork, which was what inspired Flohr to rethink the whole sector, and ultimately get personally involved.
“I found out that this industry worked by having a broker looking only for the best rates for you,” he starts saying, “so you didn’t know what you got until you arrived at the airport. This is the opposite of what a top-end experience like flying private should be, especially for those types of clients… I had a look at chartering and quickly realised that the business model didn’t make any sense in terms of asset management. So, out of frustration, I bought my first plane. I was always fascinated by how a plane looked when it comes out of the factory, with its silvery shine that became our signature silver with a red stripe look. But I also had to deal with all sorts of regulations for the interiors, the paint, the materials, and they were all different from one aircraft type to another. I experienced an extremely under-industrialised world. You had hundreds if not thousands of little garages and operators dealing with the maintenance and servicing aircraft for people around the world: it didn’t make any sense”.Read More on L’Officiel