March 18, 2015

Q&A with Pascal Bachmann

Pascal pic jSPascal Bachmann, Aircraft Sales, Jetcraft
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
[email protected]       +41 79 200 56 33

How long have you been at Jetcraft?

I have been with Jetcraft for nearly two years now. I joined the Jetcraft team when they acquired the ExecuJet Aircraft Trading group.

What are your responsibilities within the global Jetcraft team?

I am a sales person, my role is to develop Jetcraft’s business in Europe alongside my friends Chris and Guillaume. Of course, I deal primarily in pre-owned (pre-enjoyed?) aircraft, but I also am in the enviable position to sell new aircraft as well. Last year we delivered two new aircraft to their happy new owners in Switzerland, a Global 5000 and a Falcon 900LX.

Describe a typical day or week in your role.

There is no such thing as a typical day in what I do. A lot of time is spent traveling and meeting interesting people in nice places. There are also days spent in my office, catching up on things I have not been able to do while on the road. The only constant is the telephone, which is never silent for very long since I am constantly in contact with my clients and my Jetcraft team.

What do you love most about your job?

There is no routine. We work with a variety of clients and partners who are all very different, which makes it fun. I especially like the early stages of the relationship with a new client, or when an existing client has new requirements that make him think about selling his current aircraft and replacing it with another one better suited to his new mission. I like listening to someone’s needs, understanding their requirement, and coming up with just the right solution for them. Problems can be complicated, solutions can’t.

Also, lets face it, the product we sell has some serious appeal. A private aircraft is a true “freedom machine” – you chose where it takes you, who gets to come along for the ride, and it does so when you are ready, on your own schedule. As Warren Buffet used to say when I was at NetJets, “private aviation is a thing that will truly change your life”. I like changing people’s lives, for the better!

Describe the company culture at Jetcraft and what it means to you?

I did a few deals with Jetcraft in the years while I was at EAT, before the acquisition. My experience of doing business with Jetcraft from the outside gave me the impression of a finely tuned racing machine. There was never a delay in its response, and when required it was able to produce some serious power to overcome any hurdle that may come up.

From the inside, I was surprised to discover that Jetcraft is actually more like a family, where people know each other, like to spend time together and are ready to cover for each other should it be required. It is structured in a way that allows things to happen fast. To an extent our clients, buyers or sellers, are integrated into the family and Jetcraft will do all it can to achieve the best for him or her. I like being part of this team, it means I get to use its power to get deals done for my clients.

What do you want your customers to experience when dealing with Jetcraft?

What I want is of no importance – what counts is what the client wants. Consequently I want them to receive exactly what they want, nothing less, and if possible, even more. Our transactions are likely to be international involving a high value moving asset, lawyers, tax advisors, and consultants. More often than not, everything has to be completed as soon as possible. The client should only see the result, and not the machinery under the surface that makes it work. In other words, he should only see the tip of the iceberg, reflecting on the peaceful water on a beautiful spring morning, not the jagged edges of the submerged 9/10th of this same iceberg.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Focused, competitive, hard working.

If you were to buy a business jet, which aircraft would suit your needs and why?

Come on, why only one? The only sure thing is that I’d want a Pilatus PC12. This amazing flying “Swiss army knife” will get me into the grass strip around the corner and will certainly be something I’d likely have fun flying myself. It would also be ideal to have for the kids as their little European “run about”.  That would have me covered for trips up to 400 miles or so from home base.

For longer trips the selection is really large.  I like the big cabin of a Gulfstream 650 or would I wait for the Global 7000? Or what about the Falcons? I confess I was always drawn to the three engine beauties with their efficiency and good looks, not to mention you get to play with three power levers. I do think a Falcon 8X would be quite nice… or a Global of course is a true thoroughbred, be it a 5000 or a 6000 which are available now. Then there are the biz liners, 50 friends in an Airbus 330 sounds good to me. There are too many good choices.

What stands out to you as good customer service?

Do you know why we have two ears and only one mouth? It is to listen twice as much than we talk. I believe in listening to what the customer has to say and acting accordingly. The only way to satisfy someone’s expectations is to first understand what their expectations are. Once you have understood, and confirmed that what you have understood is indeed correct, then you can act. There is a fine line to walk between under-promising and over-promising. We always want to be aware of what we are capable of so that we can accurately relay that to the customer.

8584 300x200 JSFinally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?

My hobby may sound a bit strange to the non-initiated. It involves driving very uncomfortable racing cars as fast as I can during several days in a row. The races are on small mountain roads that can occasionally be covered with ice, snow, gravel or a mix of all three. It is called rallying. I wanted to become world champion but sadly the job was already taken at the time. I could never really stop and let it go, it is a true addiction I have. I just love the rush I get, it’s something I can’t find in any other activity. All in it is a team of about 7 people that has to produce a coordinated effort to get the car ready and maintain it on the road to the end of the race. Every year I participate in a few rallies. For the past three years, I have been competing in the historic category. In case you wonder, the term “historic” refers to the car, not the driver. My current car is a 1973 Ford Escort RS 2000. The engine is a Cosworth BDA 2 liters, 16 valves, normally aspirated, that will take 8’500 RPM.

Steve McQueen once said “racing is life, anything before or after is just waiting”.  He might have gone slightly over the top saying so as I also get a kick out of spending some nice time with the family. But let me tell you, nothing comes close to the sound of that engine on a rainy night when flying down one of these Swiss mountain passes, nothing!

Header Photo: Pascal with his youngest son Alexandre in his car a few years back.