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To create a better passenger experience, ask a flight attendant

Netherlands-based Ferry Meijer van de Nes is a highly experienced flight attendant and an excellent resource for Dassault.

 She began her career in 1990 on KLM Cityhopper regional aircraft – the Saab 340, Fokker 27, and others. Ferry worked on progressively larger jets with KLM, up to the Boeing 747. Her responsibilities extended beyond the cabin as a member of the employee council, union representative and safety trainer in the KLM training department.

In 2005, she decided to try something different as a corporate flight attendant for an energy company. Their projects are worldwide, making for interesting long-range travel. Like other global companies, they desired more range capability and Ferry moved from the Falcon 900 to the 7X and now to the 8X.

Ferry was among the first flight attendants advising us on cabin design, joining our Operator Advisory Board’s Completion Improvement & Innovation working group in 2015. Her contributions, and those of other working group members, have been invaluable. They’ve informed the cabin design of the 8X, the 6X and now the 10X.

Flight attendants such as Ferry are uniquely attuned to the evolving needs and tastes of passengers and crewmembers. Nowadays, Ferry tells us heavy meals are out; healthy eating is in. Moderate consumption is in because it is healthier and helps with jet lag. And because passengers are working, connectivity is critical; meetings and correspondence go on constantly. When laptops close, passengers likely want some decent sleep. Humidification is in, as dry air is fatiguing.

Passengers hit the ground running and want to be well-rested. Not everyone flies like that, but for corporations and governments that want to maximize the benefits of their aircraft, it’s pretty much the same.

It’s critical for Dassault to know how passenger attitudes and requirements are changing. Input from those working most closely with passengers is invaluable.

Our early working groups had more pilots and maintenance chiefs than flight attendants. We’ve since recognized how much valuable input we might have been missing. Today’s OAB Cabin Usage Group comprises 13 flight attendants and three pilots.

The working group has strongly advocated cabin modularity—the ability to make salons smaller or larger, adapting the interior space to make it more homelike. The Falcon 10X cabin is all about modularity. The group has raised the issue of onboard privacy for rest on long flights and working privately on shorter ones. This was the impetus for the Falcon Privacy Suite, the ultimate in mini staterooms. I could cite many smaller examples—such as for quieting the cabin or improving the way doors and dividers function.

I will give the final words to Ferry because we asked about her most memorable career experiences. I was not totally surprised that they came during a crisis when business aviation proved to be a vital link.

“During the pandemic, our role changed so much. We were very active. A lot of colleagues got stuck somewhere around the world. We flew sailors stuck on their ships for almost a year. We repatriated families. We brought oil rig workers to and from drill sites. We improvised a lot. And we met people across the company we would have never encountered. It was fun and rewarding. We learned a lot, including about our Falcon and its capabilities. It was a time I wouldn’t have missed.”

For all you do, Ferry, thank you so much!

Jean Kayanakis

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Falcon Customer Service & Service Center Network

Dassault Aviation

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