Pascal Bachmann, senior vice president for sales EMEA at Jetcraft, tells BAI about his role, new office openings and the end of the recession for business aviation.
Tell BAI about yourself and your role at Jetcraft.
I joined Jetcraft in 2014 as a sales representative based in Europe. In my current role as SVP sales, I lead all Jetcraft sales initiatives in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and manage a team of sales directors in those regions.
There’s no such thing as a typical day in my role, which I love. The success of what we do depends on our ability to listen to and understand the very different requirements of each customer and produce the perfect solution for them. Problems can be complicated – solutions can’t!
Plus, the product we sell has some serious appeal. A private aircraft is a true freedom machine – you choose where it takes you, who gets to come along for the ride, and it runs entirely on your own schedule. As Warren Buffet used to say, “Private aviation is a thing that will truly change your life”. I like changing people’s lives – for the better!
What has Jetcraft launched this year?
Over the past 12 months, Jetcraft has strengthened its position in the global business aviation market through a number of strategic routes. We’ve doubled our resources in Europe by adding new sales representatives, which means we are able to support growth across the continent and particularly in Eastern Europe, where we’ve seen a lot of movement from the Polish market.
Earlier this year we also opened an office in London, bringing our total offices to more than 20 around the world. The majority of our customers are traveling through Europe on a regular basis, and many of our industry colleagues and partners are located here, so London was a natural next step for Jetcraft.
What are the key trends affecting the business aviation market at present?
According to our latest market forecast, we’re seeing several trends borne of the fact that the recession is finally over for business aviation. Firstly, as we enter a new business cycle of steady, healthy growth, we’re experiencing an increased demand for aircraft, and more than one buyer for each – so it’s a seller’s market as much as a buyer’s one.
Secondly, now international growth has become the norm for business, more customers are calling for long-haul travel capabilities from their aircraft. This has led to a keen preference toward larger, and more expensive, ultra-long-range models, such as the Bombardier Global 7500, Dassault Falcon 7X/8X or Gulfstream G650.
Looking to the global markets, Asia is progressing beyond its status as an emerging market and has been rivaling Europe for the number two business aviation market: a shift from historic sales patterns.
How do you think the market will progress in the next decade?
Compared with the market immediately after the 2008 downturn, buyer confidence is at a record high and we expect this optimism to maintain well into a new business cycle, at least until 2024 or 2025.
As we return to an upward growth trend, inventory levels are hitting the floor as first-time and existing buyers enter the market looking for an aircraft. Additionally, pre-owned aircraft values are declining at a far less rapid rate than in the immediate post-recession period.
In the wider industry, major OEMs are announcing new models, and there has been increased investment in innovative technologies such as supersonic, hypersonic and eVTOLs, signaling a rediscovered confidence in business aviation.
All this adds up to a positive outlook for the next 10 years. We’ll see a new beginning for the industry, as businesses can expect consistent growth for the first time in a decade.
What does the next year hold for you?
As the global economy changes we’ll continue to adapt and develop our exceptional worldwide presence, experience and knowledge to benefit each of our customers and their individual needs. Over the next year, we’ll be cementing our promise to never be more three hours away from any one client at any time.
Alongside this, we’ll be maintaining the family feel of Jetcraft. We have more than 55 years’ experience in the industry, and in that time have learned that people only buy from people – so we aim to be people that our customers can trust to have their best interests at heart. As a result, we don’t ever plan to outgrow the intimate culture we’ve cultivated since 1962.