ExecuJet has grown quickly since it began operating in the nineties but always emphasized a high level of quality in its offering
ExecuJet began life in Europe in 1994, with a base at Zurich Airport, running the Zurich FBO and managing a small number of business jets. The Zurich base became the company’s international headquarters in 2001 as part of a very succesful international expansion programme. This expansion built on ExecuJet’s initial establishment in 1991 as an aircraft management company at Lanseria International Airport. As ExecuJet COO Gerrit Basson notes, the company is now one of the leading global ‘full service’ business aviation organisations, offering a wide portfolio of services ranging from aircraft management to charters, FBO operations, maintenance and completions management services. Until mid-2013 ExecuJet had one of the world’s largest pre-owned and new aircraft sales divisions; however, as Basson explains, the group sold its pre-owned business to the US-based Jetcraft in August (see the story on page 42 of this issue) in order to focus on its operations and management lines of business.
The company now manages some 150 business jets worldwide and is developing a very impressive network of FBOs. As an operator it has seven regional civil aviation-issued air operating certificates (AOCs), giving it a truly global presence. Its first AOC, at Zurich, was rapidly followed by an expansion into Denmark and by 2000 the Group had established bases at Dubai International Airport and Sydney Airport, which became home to ExecuJet Australia. The company received its UK AOC in 2008 with a base at Cambridge Airport. “Our fleet in Europe now comprises 53 aircraft, about 80% of which are large jets, making us one of the biggest operators of large aircraft in Europe. We have Global Expresses, Falcon 7Xs, plus Gulfstream 450s, 550 and 650s and we are working very hard at winning the trust of big jet owners,” Basson comments.
This is the way we are looking to advance our
A game, by bringing a higher level of professionalism to the aircraft management business
Scale is important to an operator, since the more trust and breadth you gain in the market, the more that word-of-mouth recommendations among owners works for you. However, scale also imposes considerable challenges, Basson notes, since this is not a market in which you can afford to drop your A game for an instant. High net worth individuals are accustomed to the highest standards of service and mistakes do not sit well with them. “We have an exemplary safety and performance record and we work very hard to maintain this. We train all our staff continuously to ensure that we deliver service excellence around the clock. A team of key account managers maintain the personal contact with each owner.”
Being in a position to take your A game to customers day in and day out depends on systems as well as training, and in many ways the ability to score highly on customer satisfaction audits is a function of the investment that the operator is prepared to make in its support systems. “We have invested very significantly in computer processes to ensure that we have a totally integrated system across our entire global enterprise,” Basson says. Building on this, ExecuJet has just introduced a new app for the iPad which gives owners access to relevant information held on the main ExecuJet system.
As Basson points out, this means that an owner can see at a glance everything relating to that particular jet, where it flew to last week or last month, whether it was on charter or flying the owner’s family. “This is the way we are looking to advance our A game, by bringing a higher level of professionalism to the aircraft management business,” Basson concludes.