Patrick Moulay is the Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Bell Helicopter Textron. In his current role, Patrick is responsible for leading the sales and marketing strategies around the globe, working with the global sales team to promote Bell Helicopter’s current and next generation commercial products. In 2015, the Commercial Sales and Marketing organization was combined with Commercial Programs, establishing the Commercial Business Unit. He talks with Aviation Times about his role and the importance of the central European market to Bell Helicopter Textron.
What is Bell’s view of the market in central Europe?
Globally, the helicopter market is facing significant headwinds, yet customers are choosing Bell Helicopter over the competition. We anticipate continued growth for Bell Helicopter commercial aircraft in Europe over the coming year with a particular focus on Central Europe. We notice that with the current political environment in the region, Central European countries are looking to upgrade their helicopter fleets looking for more modern aircraft.
Which helicopter are you finding our most popular in the region?
We expect Growth in corporate/ VIP segment with the 429 and 505. Customers are responding to the Bell 505 – it is truly a global platform. We also see potential in law enforcement and HEMS with the Bell 429 across Europe. Just to highlight a few achievements over the last 12 months from our team in Europe:
• Outstanding customer response in Europe to the Bell 505
• Sold first Bell 429 VVIP MAGnificent in Russia
• First Bell INTERVIEW 407GXP sold in Europe to SARAN in Turkey
• First Bell 429 in Siberia to operate in extreme cold
• First sale by our Italian office – Bell 407GX to Elicompany
• First sale of Bell 407 GXP to German customer
• Delivery of three Bell 429 to Slovakia
• Delivery of Bell 412 to Czech National Police.
How would you describe a typical customer from the region? Are there any unique requirements?
Safety, reliability and operating costs are on all of our customers’ minds. In this region, as in many others, customers want to know that they will have local support during the entire lifecycle of the aircraft. To this point, our approach of making strategic investments in our products, people and facilities has driven stronger results in Europe. We have the largest support network in the industry with over one hundred Authorized Customer Service Facilities in thirty-four countries. We are committed to having resources where customers operate to speed up delivery of service and support and give customers access to resources who are easy to reach, know the operating environment and understand their needs. This is truly a key decision maker for our customers.
What changes do you see for the future?
We see a helicopter commercial market which is currently struggling but that will pick up again in 2017. Central European countries have growing economies and will be looking to continue upgrading their aircraft to better fulfil their missions.
How much business does the Bell portfolio of helicopters conduct in Central Europe?
Our approach of making strategic investments in our products, people and facilities has driven strong results in Europe. We also renewed investment in this important part of the region creating a growing presence investing in our European Customization & Delivery Center in Prague acquired in 2010. We have recently broken ground to build a paint booth in Prague for full customization capabilities and received Russian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification to perform maintenance on Russian registered aircraft. Prague is truly at the center of our Bell Helicopter operations in Europe and we believe that with our new commercial products and a growing local presence in Central Europe, this will lead to growing successes for Bell Helicopter in this part of the world. Our latest deliveries in Central Europe include a Bell 412 to the Czech National Police and a Bell 429 to the Slovakian Police.
What is your opinion on predictions of future growth in the region (Czech Republic and Slovakia)?
As mentioned above, we are heavily investing in the Czech Republic and are fully committed to continuing our investment in the country in the future. Prague is our European hub for Customization and Delivery and we are proud to have an established presence in the Czech Republic. There are ongoing opportunities and tenders in these two countries, which are of great interest for Bell Helicopter.
How did you get into aviation? Who or what was the primary impulse?
The world of aviation has always fascinated me, growing up, my dream was to become a pilot. Things worked out a little differently, but I still managed to join the industry that, to this day, still makes me dream.
How important is aviation for you in your private dimension?
I am extremely passionate about my job and this industry, I couldn’t invest myself as much as I do if I wasn’t. My work takes me around the world and I am constantly learning new things, meeting new people. It brings me joy and I take a lot of pride in my work. There is nothing more rewarding than to meet with our customers and see the impact that our helicopters make on their lives. In so many cases, our helicopters carry out such noble missions – being a part of that feels really great.
PM’s chamber of secrets: What makes you most happy in your work?
What I love the most is meeting new customers all over the world. It is so interesting to learn about their lives, backgrounds, and cultures.
2016 weren’t easy for airlines around the globe that continue to struggle with ways of finding pilots to fill cockpit seats. 2017 is expected to be an even more pressing year, as Boeing, Airbus and other manufacturers keep accelerating their production, while the already small pool of qualified FOs and PICs grows at a significantly slower pace....
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