ExecuJet’s new FBO at Le Bourget, Paris, is very easy on the eye. It also sets a very high standard in terms of service delivery. Jo Murray visited this very graceful and highly aesthetic FBO
The clean bright lines of the lounges, meeting rooms and pilots’ quarters mask some very strategic thinking by two highly experienced business aviation players: ExecuJet and Advanced Air Support. The freshly unveiled FBO is the result of a partnership approach to investment, branding and service provision. It forms the third FBO in ExecuJet’s European network and its seventh worldwide – so far.
It all started with a visit by Cédric Migeon, Managing Director of ExecuJet Europe, to Le Bourget in search of his next FBO project. Of course, Le Bourget continues to be the most active business aviation airport in Europe and boasts a selection of FBOs; seven in fact. Perhaps this – along with the opportunity to partner – are at the bottom of Migeon’s decision to work with Advanced Air Support.
He explains that, having met with the Advanced Air Support team, it became immediately obvious to him that ExecuJet should pursue a joint venture with this service provider. “All in all they have the right customer services mindset,” he points out. Not only this, but Advanced Air Support also owns the lease on the Le Bourget site.
Further, Advanced Air Support is part of the Jet Services Group which has so much to offer through its five separate entities. First, there is Advanced Air Support with whom the partnership agreement has been concluded, Then, there is Uni Air Entreprise (at Le Bourget and Toulouse-Blagnac) – a Part 145 maintenance service centre for Hawker Beechcraft, Falcon, Citation and Piaggio aircraft. Next, there is Aerovision at Toulouse-Blagnac which manages a seven-strong aircraft fleet and provides air to air filming services; and Camo Air Support in the same location. Finally, the Jet Services Group comprises B.C.A. (Business and Commuter Airport), based at Lyon-Bron Airport, which supports Beechcraft and Cessna Citation aircraft.
The synergies between ExecuJet and Advanced Air Support are plain to see, but so also is ExecuJet’s attraction to operating at Le Bourget. After all, this business aviation only airport enjoys 80 departures a day from a site that plays host to 75 business aviation companies.
So what does Migeon believe is at the very crux of the partnership? “Advanced’s local knowledge,” he responds. Of course ExecuJet brings the international dimension to the equation. After all, ExecuJet is not only active in six regions – Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and South Africa – it also operates a diverse portfolio of businesses, including pre-owned and new aircraft sales, aircraft management, aircraft charter, aircraft maintenance, completion management and, of course, FBOs. There are 150 business jets under ExecuJet’s management, all seeking services and support to keep them flying.
The Le Bourget FBO will be staffed by a team of 28, making it one of ExecuJet’s largest FBOs. Aircraft maintenance will be provided by Uni Air, which itself is being expanded at Le Bourget in a €2.5 million investment programme, and is located a short walk from the new FBO.
The FBO itself offers 28,000m2 private aircraft parking space. It has its own de-icing truck which delivers a competitive advantage. And this will be important when Le Bourget’s seven FBOs are all jostling for business. However, Niall Olver, Chief Executive Officer, ExecuJet Aviation Group, insists there will be plenty of business to go around at this very active business aviation airport.
And let’s face it, this is an excellent time to invest. So far, €1 million has been invested in the FBO, it is the oldest FBO in Paris and has already clocked up significant history. From 1992, this was the Aero Services Handling facility which was taken over by Advanced Air Support in August 2009. Of course, the ExecuJet brand has now been stamped on the project, jointly with the one of Advance Air
Looking forward, ExecuJet is seeking further FBO investment opportunities in Western Europe. Partnerships – like the one at Le Bourget– are possible but access to airports is the secret to successful FBO operations, rather the exact business model ExecuJet uses to bring its services to market, confirms Olver.
As for Asia, the Singapore operation is planned as the ExecuJet Asia headquarters and Beijing will head up future Chinese operations. Returning to Europe, Olver says that the FBO business is the most profitable and stable part of ExecuJet’s business, hence the interest in future expansion.
So what is the secret of success in delivering services to this highly fractured industry? “High customer service, first class facilities and strategic locations,” responds Migeon.
FBO facts: ExecuJet and Advanced Air Support at Le Bourget
- Private entrance
- Aircraft parked 20m from the hangar door
- Attractive 1920s listed building
- Totally refurbished; tasteful design
- Two VIP lounges
- Pilots’ lounge
- Meeting room – seats 12
- 4,000m2 hangar with new floor and hangar door
- Storage rooms, rest rooms and washrooms
- Four operators permanently based here
- 30 aircraft permanently based here