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INTERVIEW: Caroline Cresp, business development manager, ExecuJet

Caroline Cresp is business development manager Middle East, ExecuJet where one of her many roles is making sure customers are fully satisfied with the service they are receiving.

How did you get into aviation?

I got into aviation thanks to one of my sisters who used to work for Air Charter International, an aircraft charter brokerage firm in Dubai. The company wanted to expand the charter team and was looking for new brokers. At the time, I was working as a real estate agent in the south of France selling high-end properties. My husband and I had been contemplating moving to Dubai and this was the opportunity. We decided to come to Dubai for a week so I could attend the interview and I left with a job! Three months later we moved to Dubai and have been here ever since.

How has your career progressed?

As a charter broker, I was brokering not only executive flights, but also cargo, passenger and medevac. As a result, I quickly gained considerable knowledge about the industry. Shortly after joining the company, I was promoted to charter team manager and then strategic sales manager. During my tenure, I was often reaching out to ExecuJet Middle East to charter its aircraft for my clients; this grew into a great relationship and they eventually offered me a job as key account manager in Dubai. I’ve carried out this role for approximately four years and gained an extraordinary amount of insight into the ins and outs of operating private jets. The position evolved quite naturally into taking up the business development side of things, which is what I’m responsible for in my current role as business development manager.

What have been the highlights?

I began my career selling wine to four-and-five star restaurants, then moved onto selling luxury properties in the south of France. Now I’m dealing with high net worth individuals, managing their assets and selling private jets. Let’s just say I’ve always had the pleasure of selling amazing products to a very unique clientele. I’m proud to be a female working and travelling within the Middle East, especially in the aviation world, which is traditionally a male-orientated business.

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What does your current job entail?

As is the case with many jobs nowadays, mine is actually a combination of more than one role. Whilst I mainly focus on business development, I still act as key account manager for some of the managed customers, making sure the owners are satisfied with the services we provide and acting as their single point of contact. I oversee their finances and advise them on the most suitable and cost-effective ways of running their aircraft, as well as assisting them with one-off charter requirements, aircraft refurbishment options and, of course, helping them buy and sell their aircraft when required.

What do you enjoy most?

One of the most rewarding things about my job is making my clients smile. There’s no better feeling than the realisation you have made somebody happy and this is especially true in the workplace, particularly when you’re dealing with high-profile individuals.

What are the challenges?

It wouldn’t be fun if it was easy! ExecuJet is one of the largest operators of private jets in the world and sometimes clients have the perception that if they were to join us, they would just become ‘a number’ and not benefit from the level of attention they would expect. That is just not how we work. Each and every client is important to ExecuJet and we strive to provide them with a boutique approach around the globe. In each region, every client has access to the local post holders and has a dedicated key account manager looking after their best interests. In Dubai, I work with a great team who all know the clients directly. Our clients are part of the ExecuJet and wider Luxaviation family and we look after them accordingly.

Where do you see yourself, and/or your role, five years from now?

The world and the environment we live and work in are so fast-paced nowadays, it’s hard to say where I’ll be five years from now! Let’s just say I hope to have a happy and healthy family and still do a job I love.

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