Top 10 Leaders In European Business Aviation

By Rupa Haria
Source: AWIN First

“In the last year it’s all been about accumulating a strong team and so far it has been more about building expertise than building things,” said Jones. “The sales and acquisitions arm of the business is going extremely well. We have a portfolio now of nine contracted sales aircraft with a value well in excess of £20 million that we are trading at the moment.”

Jones was also tasked with forming JETability, a full service business aviation division, which operates out of Cambridge airport. JETability is already seeing a significant amount of aircraft sales brokerage business coming from banks, according to Jones. “There are a lot of business aircraft repossessions going on. We’re getting quite a few aircraft and helicopter repossessions for resale and we’re almost becoming the broker of choice for this market.”

Thierry Boutsen, President, Boutsen Aviation

Ex-Formula 1 race driver Thierry Boutsen formed Boutsen Aviation in 1997 as a part-time venture then took it full time in 2000. Based in Monaco, Boutsen has sold 261 aircraft to date and turned over $1.2 billion in sales. His first sale was a $275,000 Piper Cheyenne II and the 250th was a VVIP Airbus Corporate Jet worth $100 million.

Bouten says he has had a number of repeat customers since 2000. “We have experience in 50 different countries so we know exactly how to register an airplane on almost every continent. We handle the technical, administrative and legal side of the transaction.”

Thomas Flohr, Chairman, VistaJet

For years, Swiss-based VistaJet has claimed to be the world’s fastest-growing private aviation company with the largest wholly owned commercial fleet outside the Americas. Eschewing the fractional model, Thomas Flohr founded VistaJet in 2004. “We tore up all the old conventions and designed a revolutionary business model focused entirely around our clients. What they wanted. What they needed. Then we invested in the largest privately owned fleet of aircraft outside the Americas. We’ve never looked back,” says Flohr.

The company has consistently seen revenue growth of 20-25% a year. Last year it carried 25,000 passengers on 10,000 single international flights. “The simple business model ensures the entire fleet is made available to all customers – with guaranteed availability within 24 hours notice – offering a truly global reach with no positioning costs,” says Flohr.

Flohr’s strategy of using long-range aircraft to directly link new trade routes across the globe has paid off, driving new business and resulting in the company last November placing the largest-ever order with Bombardier for $7.8 billion-worth of Global jets, comprising 56 firm and 86 optioned aircraft.

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