Boutsen Aviation, a Monaco-based business jet brokerage led by ex-Formula One driver Thierry Boutsen, recently named Dominique Trinquet as the new president of the company, 15 years after he first joined Boutsen Aviation.
Trinquet said: “As Boutsen Aviation approaches its 300th sale, the new board is aimed at speeding up the company’s move to its next phase of innovation and growth.”
Corporate Jet Investor took the opportunity to catch-up with Trinquet and ask him about his new role and the current state of the pre-owned business jet market.
You have been a shareholder at Boutsen Aviation since 2000, so you have seen the business jet market go through a number of cycles. Did you expect the downturn to last so long?
“In the aviation industry we are faced with a succession of waves, where the marketplace constantly and radically changes. Routine does not exist and we have to constantly adapt ourselves to closely value and analyse the trends. The subprime crisis had a radical effect on aircraft values but on the other hand it allowed the market to align itself. It also forced us to focus on new continents, which, until now, had not been the case.
“Today, Boutsen Aviation is present in Monaco and Dubai with representation by sales manager Karim Hijazi. We certainly did not anticipate this downturn to last as long and it proofs again that we are very directly linked to the world’s economic activities. What we perceived are mixed signals, decisive recovery is still elusive.”
You say you are looking forward to “speeding up the company’s move to its next phase of innovation and growth.” What will this involve?
“We consider that it is our duty to constantly scrutinise ourselves and develop services for the benefit of our clients. This means that we have to keep on improving our communication, our sales force and network.”
Which are the hottest business jet models on the pre-owned market right now?
“There is at the moment no specific aircraft that has the so-called ‘upper edge.’ However, there are certain categories, such as the light and mid-size jets, which have seen a greater comeback in recent months. This situation is further boosted by a strong demand in the US for this type of inventory, while other aircraft continue to fill the funnel.”
How many aircraft transactions does Boutsen Aviation expect to close in 2015?
“It is very difficult to say as we never give ourselves quantitative targets. Our record year was 2012 with 31 aircraft having exchanged hands through us, which translates into an average rate of 20 successful sales per year. In parallel, we are developing the long-range segment, which is starting to reap the fruits. It is better to have one well-managed transaction rather than two botched ones and whose return automatically would have a negative impact.”
What one piece of advice would you give to aircraft buyers?
“Do not solely focus on price. The market is sufficiently large enough to find an aircraft with a far better pedigree than the bottom-line priced aircraft. Speak to the experts: we at Boutsen Aviation live and breath the market. Pre-owned aircraft trading is a complex multitask business. When sourcing aircraft we do not concentrate exclusively on price.
“The commercial, technical, cosmetic, legal, tax and administrative sides are all of same and highest importance. With 297 aircraft sold to date we have an ultimate knowledge of the market, and having sold aircraft to 50 different countries, we have now a very good experience of international transactions. We are there to help.”