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Former French Navy pilot landed HZ with new hopes
Hangzhou News   2021-10-15 09:34   Source:City Express

French people are specially attached to flying. When you look back to history, it is not hard to find that, Montgolfier brothers, Louis Blériot, and many French pioneers contributed to early aviation that changed the world.

Franck DUBARRY was born at the foot of the Pyrenees in France, where planes were hovering over the town all day long, literally "within arm's reach". As a small kid, Franck's eyes were hard to draw away from them.

A topnotch pilot

Franck subsequently attended flight school at 15 (in France, one was eligible to fly at 15). After just shy of a year, Franck got his first flight license before he could drive a car.

His parents, both successful in financing, had paved a stable path for him. So Franck attended the University of Toulouse and studied Mathematics to become whoever his parents wished him to be, until he received three congratulatory letters to his enlistment in the army.

"To become a topnotch pilot, you have to join the army, especially the Navy."

At the age of 20, he joined the French Navy Academy, gained one of the two slots in his group, which officially navigated him to a new exciting path.

What Franck could not see on this path, as he later learned in the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War, were dangers, interests and desires. "They could change someone into another person." "And unlike movies, wars give no time to blink. It's between life and death."

The wars also taught him the good side of human beings. "Working with teammates you learned team spirit."

As a navy pilot Franck safely landed on the narrow and short FOCH aircraft carrier runways which seemed a mission impossible. During his service he was awarded twice the Medal of Honor by France and NATO, for not only being a topnotch pilot, but using aviation skills to save people's lives.

He opens a jet company in HZ

Franck retired after an accident. He then worked for 7 years as an aircraft controller for the navy and several years for airlines as the director of the operation. As both jobs finally turned out to be as unchallenging as working in the bank office, he left.

In 2007, Franck joined Global Jet, a world-leader in private aviation, to manage the operations and open offices in Asia.

One day he was told by the big boss to open a company in China. "Franck, you were always No.2, it's time to be No.1. You will go to 'Juju'."

It wasn't until the moment landing at the airport did he realize "juju" was meant to be "Hangzhou", Franck joked, not knowing the city would become his home of 8 years and beyond.

In 2015, not long after the two world's largest private jet companies NetJets and VistaJet quit from China, Jinggong Global Jet, a Sino-foreign joint company was officially headquartered in Hangzhou's Xiaoshan. Franck became the first and the only foreigner CEO of an airline in China, hoping to be someone like Louis Blériot to really contribute to China's aviation.

New role, new challenge

7 years later, Franck decided to take up a new challenge. Forging ahead he opened his own company "AEROLUXUS" in Hangzhou, devoted to improving the skills of Chinese service professionals in private aviation, airline, high-end hotel, and other sectors.

In Franck's company, trainees are taught to speak fluent English, cook, appreciate and serve wine, before finally practicing in the aircraft simulators. They are taught to mind all the details in serving the VIP customers.

"The world is seeing a strong growth in China's aviation market, and Hangzhou, the host of 2022 Asian Games, has a big share in it," said Franck, "the high demand means improving service is urgent." With more experience he expected to open a new airline in China soon.

In his spare time, when winding into his favorite Meijiawu with his bicycle to appreciate the nature in the city, continuing flying on a Falcon 7X, or managing the Hangzhou Rugby Team and leading it to national competitions, his love for Hangzhou grows. As he said on July 8th, "when you are far away, your new place is your family." On that day, representatives of Chinese and French companies and French ambassadors to China were invited by Franck, who is also the representative of CCIFC and administrator of the French alliance, to celebrate the Bastille Day.

Franck is enjoying his life in Hangzhou with his family. After the "life and death" war experience, what's better than taking care of his lovely baby son after a workday?

Author:Wu Yuehua  Editor:Wang Jian
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