ANDREA PERNOUD - MANAGER DFS FBO PARIS LE BOURGET
In her position as Manager at Dassault Falcon Service (DFS) FBO, Andrea Pernoud not only heads the marketing team but she also attends to customers’ needs, making sure the services offered are maintained at the highest level of quality. “My role is to listen and anticipate, keeping my eyes wide open. This entails talking regularly with our customers as well as monitoring the quality of services we provide them. We pay the greatest attention to details so that our VIP customers may feel comfortable at DFS. We have set a number of priorities, which allow us to react promptly either on a human level or in terms of infrastructures. We are quick to finalize new processes or renovate buildings, redecorate lounges or improve equipment. Every improvement is meant to enhance the customer’s experience, and it is my function to make sure it goes smoothly. My job is to look after our existing client-base and to prospect for new customers.”
The daughter of French expatriates, Andrea Pernoud was introduced to aviation at an early age as her parents travelled back and forth to Africa. When she’d grow up, she knew she would become an airline stewardess. This meant getting some experience in services, so as a young woman fresh out of school, she started working in the food and beverage sector. She passed the exam and with a Certificate of Security and Safety in her pocket promptly joined the airlines. She made her way up the ranks from rookie stewardess to purser, on short, medium and long-range flights for a foreign commercial airline. Years later, eager to discover other facets of the aviation industry, she decided to move back to France and work on the ground. Andrea Pernoud held the position of handling agent before graduating to marketing in business aviation handling.
THE EVOLUTION OF LE BOURGET AIRPORT
Over the last 14 years since she started working at DFS, Andrea Pernoud has witnessed the evolution of Europe’s first business aviation airport.
Security has changed drastically. Only ten years ago, the off-limit zone was unrestricted and customers could access their aircraft as they wished. In just a few years, important changes took place. A restricted, closed area has been created and access to the aircraft is only possible through Inspection and Security gateways. This has not gone without a few eyebrows being raised as working methods and customers’ habits had to be modified. Today, security procedures are in place as if they always had been there.
DFS has evolved significantly to meet its customers’ needs. In 2007, handling activities were consolidated under one roof, and the parking area, until then shared with another FBO, was entirely dedicated to DFS. A new hangar was built, wholly owned Dassault Aviation, allowing for additional space and further contributing to the extension of a privatized Dassault area within the Airport. “We are the ambassadors of the brand, and our customers fully appreciate that,” says Andrea. “Of course, I remember particularly well recent Air- shows when our new aircraft were un- veiled, including the Falcon 7X whose first flights took place here, or the Falcon 2000S. In 2013, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Falcon brand. The history of the Airport, that of the Falcon and DFS were honored at the same time, and those are vibrant moments I shall not forget!”
The development of the platform has benefited all handling facilities, including DFS. As a consequence to the growing business aviation traffic, Aéroports de Paris (ADP), the managing authorities of Paris Airports have continuously invested and everyone on the platform now enjoys renovated roads and infra- structures. The Airport is more modern and more efficient now than ever, even if there still remains a lot to be done.
FALCON BASE IN PARIS
Historically, DFS handling was created to assist Falcon jets with maintenance. Today, not only Falcons but other types of aircraft use the FBO. Half of the transient fleet is from other manufacturers. Still, DFS handling is very much appreciated due to its maintenance facility. Pilots whose main concern is the total safety for their passengers appreciate the possibility to check the aircraft. Employee longevity at DFS is a benefit for customers who are often greeted by familiar faces of staff who have been serving them for years.
“Our services are similar to those of a high-end hotel conciergerie. Not only do we know our customers, but we also constantly try to anticipate their needs. We are here to answer their questions and needs and provide service in the spirit that nothing is impossible.”
The manager is solution-focused. “This job requires a constant and total involvement. You must accept to live with a telephone that rings often, at all hours of the day or night. The team has to know I’ll be there should something go wrong.” A strong team is therefore essential to run a good show. And so is an understanding partner and a supportive family. Andrea has two hobbies that serve as distractions from her high-energy job: reading and running marathons! More importantly, she just loves her job!