A career in business aviation

Interviews — 27.02.19 BY Sylvie Peron
Hotelschool The Hague

Göppel attended the prestigious Hotelschool The Hague. Its international character appealed to the young man. “Throughout my studies I already focused on a future career in aviation. Every step I took was aimed towards my future career. For my first internship, I was persistent on finding an internship at an international business hub. That’s why I chose to go to Dubai, a very international city and environment to work in. I ended up working for the Jumeirah Group at the prestigious Madinat Jumeirah Resort. I worked 11 hours a day, six days a week and met very interesting and well-known people.

“Throughout the years I have learned that extreme wealth also comes with lots of power and social responsibility.”

For my graduation internship, I naturally wanted to find a company in aviation, hoping I could eventually stay there and get employed.”


His career was kick-started at PrivatAir in Geneva (Switzerland), one the most traditional and respected private jet operators in the world.

“I was involved in restructuring the business aviation division of the company. PrivatAir, renowned in both business and commercial aviation, has very high service levels and quality standards and deals with ultra-high net worth individuals and VIP clients. At the end of my internship, PrivatAir offered me full-time employment. I graduated in July, went on vacation in August and started as a full-time employee in September.”

Starting as ‘Manager Business Aviation’ Göppel’s position quickly grew into ‘Director Aircraft Management and Aircraft Sales’ looking after clients from all around the world for aircraft sales and acquisitions, as well as aircraft management and aircraft charter services.

“At PrivatAir we provided complete acquisition, sales and support services for business jet owners in the upper segment of the industry. We worked with extremely wealthy people – an international clientele with an emphasis on Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The company’s wide range of clients included royalty, heads of state, public officials, celebrities from the arts, sports and entertainment industries, captains of industry and private aircraft owners.”

Unusual work week

In February 2017, Göppel started working for Jetex, a major industry player from Dubai. His average workweek can be rather unusual at times, including (but not limited to) business meetings in multiple cities and countries, or at conferences and air shows in London, Paris or Dubai. Working in such an international environment enables him to reflect and to keep both feet on the ground.

“Throughout the years I have learned that extreme wealth also comes with lots of power and social responsibility. It sometimes makes me very happy with the (rather) normal life I have. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and meeting new people, learning about new cultures at exciting destinations.”

Working in aviation certainly also has its general advantages. In 2016, Göppel travelled around the world in two weeks together with a friend. “It was pretty crazy, travelling almost 40,000 kilometres around the globe, following the Equator. We started in Geneva, went to Frankfurt, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland, Tahiti, Los Angeles and Las Vegas before we returned to Europe again. When we came back it felt like we had travelled for three months. Another highlight was in 2017 when I reached my 1 million kilometres of commercial flying on a flight from Dubai to Mauritius. Over time I have done over 1000 flights and travelled all around the world.”

Sound advice

“Enjoy every single day, work hard, focus on the things you like and simply go for it! Don’t let other people distract you to follow your vision and dreams. Use the elements from your practical experience and education that fit with your plans for the future and take them to your advantage!”