February 05, 2014: Benoit Defforge has been appointed Managing Director, Airbus Corporate Jets, effective 1st January 2014. He now leads Airbus’ corporate jet business globally, combining his new role with that of his previous one as Head of the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC).
Defforge, 49, graduated with an Engineering Diploma from the Ecole National Superiéur d’Arts et Métiers in Paris in 1987, and an INSEAD Business Diploma in 2011. In 1990 he joined aerospace manufacturer Labinal, part of the Safran group. At Labinal, Defforge started his career in general engineering and then, as Operations Manager, was responsible for leading a variety of programmes from business jets to Airbus airliners, rising to become General Manager of a business unit serving Airbus, helicopter and railway customers.
He joined Airbus in 2003, initially leading a project to improve the performance and lead time of the Airbus A330/A340 final assembly line in Toulouse, which currently produces ten A330s a month, the highest production rate today of any widebody aircraft.
In 2005, Defforge was appointed Head of Airbus A380 Electrical Systems development, a role in which he was responsible for boosting performance and implementing harmonised processes throughout all Airbus sites.
Defforge was appointed Head of ACJC, an Airbus subsidiary that is part of a network of Airbus-approved cabin-completion centres, in May 2007.
In his role as Managing Director of Airbus Corporate Jets, Defforge replaces Airbus veteran Habib Fekih, who played a leading role in establishing the company’s business aviation role in the early days, and who has been instrumental in consolidating it in recent years. Habib Fekih moves on to further responsibilities within the Airbus group.
Defforge reports directly to John Leahy, COO Customers, for all sales activity, and to Tom Williams, EVP Programmes, for ACJC.