Dominique Trinquet, President Boutsen Aviation, the Monaco-based brokerage firm founded by Thierry Boutsen, has sold a total of fifteen 7X Falcons, including ten of them since 2017. He tells Ultimate Jet why he has specialised in Dassault Falcon transactions.
By Sylvie Peron and Quinn Pendleton
“No transaction is finished until the final close”, stated Dominique Trinquet as we met one morning at Boutsen Aviation’s offices on rue Grimaldi, in Monaco. The scent of orange blossoms imbuing the streets and the cheerful spring sun augured of happy days to come. Indeed, it’s been a busy start of the year at Boutsen Aviation.
Since the company’s beginnings in 1997, the team has sold over 370 aircraft across over 70 countries worldwide. Of particular note is the focus and specialisation in Falcon transactions, led by President Dominique Trinquet. According to him, some twenty percent of all Boutsen Aviation’s activities are based around Falcons, in particular the 7X model. “We have key connections in the pre-owned Falcon market,” he says, sitting behind his desk at the company’s sun-drenched headquarters in Monaco. “I believe it is due to our close relationship with Dassault and the experience we have developed over the course of a large number of successful transactions.”
Fifteen sold 7X
Since joining the company in 2000, Trinquet has sold a total of fifteen Falcon 7X, ten of them sold since 2017. A milestone was achieved in March of this year when he closed two 7X deals (MSN 167 and 136) in the very same week, the latter being the 4th and final sale of the Saudi SPA fleet.
With regard to the driving forces of the Falcon market, Trinquet asserts that it was sparked by the post-crisis drop in value prices, making the new generation of 7X highly attractive to buyers. Further political changes around tax rebates in the United States incentivised American buyers, and the sales to the US market jumped substantially. While globally still a buyer’s market, the values of 7X are steadily rising upwards, with continued concentration in the United States. “We can say that when there is less than 5% availability in the existing fleet, it can be considered a seller’s market. It becomes a buyer’s market when availability passes over 5%. Currently, we are at about 6%, so it puts us just in between. Values are improving, and while not as good as pre-2008, we are definitely heading back into normal market conditions.”
Looking at global activity, Trinquet attests the US is still the strongest market worldwide, though there is still a good level of activity in Russia, India, and China. The company has recently taken steps to expand their presence in these growing territories with Sales Representatives based in Moscow, New Delhi, and Northern Europe as well as VP of Sales Timothée Marcie’s specialisation in the Chinese market. “We’ve seen a lot of movement out of China and into the US,” says Trinquet, “which stems from the Chinese owners tending to purchase new long-range jets and having the need to re-sell their current ones. However, I find that the Chinese seller (and not only Chinese, but globally) is not always aware of all the intricacies and details that go into selling their aircraft. Educating clients on each step of the process has become a crucial factor for us.”
How to Go About Selling an Aircraft
The key to a successful transaction lies in the points between the sale. “Having a knowledgeable and experienced broker is essential, because you don’t know what you don’t know,” says Trinquet. “For me, no transaction is finished until the final close, and I make sure that the client and his interests are protected each step of the way.” This is where expertise and experience come in, facilitated by a wide network of partners and suppliers. From the crucial pre-purchase/pre-buy inspection to the technical, legal, and administrative elements, Boutsen Aviation focuses on each and every step of the transaction process. This begins with the start of the sales mandate to final transfer of ownership, a process that takes on average between six to eight months. The wide network of technical experts and lawyers specializing in the highly-specific industry of aviation is critical to expediting the process and coming to a successful close. “We are ultimately in a service industry,” he continues, “while we are dealing with concrete products (aircraft), it is in fact our knowledge and experience that are of the greatest valuable to the client, and we take both of these traits very seriously.”
While Dominique Trinquet heads up the majority of Falcon transactions at Boutsen Aviation, the company’s listing extends far and beyond. Over the course of their history, they have sold aircraft from 18 different manufacturers across 131 models. Currently one of the highlights in the listing is the exceptional Airbus A319CJ MSN 3286 (G-NOAH), recently showcased at EBACE in Geneva. This is the 7th ACJ the company has represented, with the first six (three new and three pre-owned) having been sold over the course of the last few years. With a stunning interior by Alberto Pinto Design, the 4-section cabin allows for 19 passengers (sleeps 13) with a forward lounge area, dining/living area that converts to conference room, aft lounge, and master bedroom with en-suite washroom. “We are strengthening our position in the heavy jet/bizliner segment” says Founder and Chairman Thierry Boutsen, who is managing G-NOAH, “and I am pleased that this expansion has opened more doors and led to new opportunities and growth for the company.”
Looking ahead, both Thierry Boutsen and Dominique Trinquet are optimistic for the market outlook, not only for heavy jets and bizliners such as the 7X and ACJ but for all models in their listing, which includes light and mid-size jets, and turbine helicopters. “We know the market and its constant fluctuations” concludes Dominique Trinquet, “and it is through this extensive knowledge combined with years of experience in the industry that has earned us our reputation as one of the most trusted and reliable brokers in Europe.”