Q&A with Francois Gautier – Blueberry Aviation
Francois Gautier, Founder and CEO, Blueberry Aviation
How long have you been at your current organization?
I founded the company in 2003 after 14 years at Airbus where I met and worked closely with Jetcraft owner Jahid Fazal-Karim. Over the last 16 years my team and I have developed two distinct activities, commercial aircraft sales and lease to airlines, financiers and lessors, and civil helicopter trade to operators, corporations and private individuals.
What are your responsibilities within your organization?
I am a very hands on CEO, sharing my time between the commercial aircraft and helicopter commercial activities. I define strategies with the teams and am in the loop of most transactions, but leave the teams much autonomy including to suggest ideas and new directions. I am here if they need me. Meanwhile I focus on business development.
Describe a typical day or week in your role.
There is no such thing as a typical day, especially as we have two different markets to cover. I travel a lot but when I am in the office, my door is always open and I am often seen sitting in one of the teams’ offices discussing opportunities and ongoing deals.
What do you love most about your job?
Building an exceptional team which performs well and has fun working together is the most fulfilling part of my job.
Why did working in the Aviation industry interest you, and how did you get started?
I was in aviation even before I was born. My father spent his entire career in aviation, and headed the Concorde program. I have always admired this industry and always said the great thing about being part of it is being able to have your feet solidly on the ground, yet your head with the stars.
Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?
As mentioned my father was a great influencer combining strong professionalism and extraordinary creativity. I also started my career at Baker Mc Kenzie law firm working for now IMF director Christine Lagarde and I always admired her for her energy and incredible intelligence.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Structured, open-minded and humane.
Finally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?
Yoga is a powerful weapon to combat stress. But most importantly spending quality and festive time with family (my mother is pictured here) and best friends is where I capture my energy.