Dynamic duo Thierry and Daniela Boutsen each run their independent business aviation-related companies. Thierry is founder and chairman of Boutsen Aviation, and his wife, Daniela, is founder and president of complementary company Boutsen Design.

Thierry is eagerly anticipating his 300th business aircraft sale, which will be announced here at EBACE. With “three irons in the fire” the milestone deal could be for a Piaggio Avanti, Citation CJ3 or G550. Also part of his portfolio is cabin completions management which specializes in large, wide-cabin aircraft.

Since 2000 Boutsen Aviation has sold to 50 countries on five continents and now employs nine people, due to rise to 11 within months. Boutsen claims his success is down to incredible teamwork and attention to detail. “It comes from my Formula One racing background,” he explains. “In a racing team you all work for the same goal – to make the car win. Both take a lot of energy and every time we sell an aeroplane it’s just like winning a race again”

Although he recently promoted long-serving Dominique Trinquet and Mathieu Pezin to company president and vice president respectively, Thierry is not contemplating taking a back seat. “They grew up with me (in the business). I can still do it on my own, but this is a good opportunity to give them new responsibilities and the freedom to decide how they want to handle projects. It is a natural progression,” he says.

Having reached a certain stage in his company’s maturity, Boutsen is anxious to maintain standards in sales and acquisitions. Monaco will remain its headquarters so as to keep the sales team tight around him “and to share experiences, which is more efficient than having more offices around the world.” The company’s only out-station is its Dubai office which is working “flat out”, Karim Hijazi heading up the sales initiative in the Middle East. 

During the worldwide recession the company made good progress, particularly in high-end, long-range corporate jets. The biggest problem, however, was getting owners to realize they had to sell their aircraft at a much lower price.

Daniela Boutsen has made a niche market for herself in suggesting and finding those finishing touches that turn VIP cabins into VVIP interiors. Her three-year-old Boutsen Design company will find glassware, cutlery, fine porcelain, bed linen, table place settings. If it exists Daniela will find it. Last month saw her open her first concept store at Nice Airport’s business aviation aviation terminal. “It’s wonderful to now find ourselves literally just a step away from the finest private jet clients arriving on the Côte d’Azur,” she says.

“The store is very light, friendly and welcoming, very blingy, there’s a lot of crystal and silver and nice leather products which you don’t normally see concentrated in one place, so no one can escape Boutsen Design!” she jokes. Top product names include Loro Piana Interiors, Baccarat, Christofle, The Aston Martin Collection, Bottega Veneta, Ralph Lauren and Armani/Casa. The store was designed after months of creative collaboration with Vivian Rosberg, founder of the high-end interior design studio Maison V Interiors and wife of Formula One race driver Nico Rosberg.

“Sometimes it happens that Thierry hands me over a client from his aircraft cabin management business, but it also happens that I can hand him a client,” says Daniela. “We are working in the same industry and in parallel. In the beginning clients were a little confused, thinking that to tap into my services they had to buy an aircraft from Boutsen Aviation. This is not the case.”

Boutsen Design’s stamp is already on an impressive number of large corporate aircraft - four ACJ319s, two A340s, a BBJ3, a B747-8, a B767, two G550s, a G650, two CRJ200s, a Legacy, and a Global 6000. Daniela is now working on an A320 and a B777.