French billionaire businessmen François-Henri Pinault and Martin Bouygues are among what might be called the ‘chopper set’, whose preferred means of transport for frequent hops from Paris to their respective country homes in Brittany, their separate vineyards in Burgundy and the Bordeaux region, and for visits to countries neighbouring France, is by private helicopter. For longer flights, each has a private jet.
The greenwashing French billionaires who hop around on a luxury chopper
French billionaires François-Henri Pinault and Martin Bouygues share ownership of a high-end Agusta AW-139 helicopter, whose maker claims it “embodies the hallmarks of elegance, style and sophistication”. Mediapart and data collection collective Mémoire vive have traced the businessmen’s use of the aircraft over the past year, and found that many of its flights were for short hops to their different holiday homes, vineyards and to London. While Pinault’s luxury goods group Kering and Bouygues’ construction and telecoms group are keen to boast of reducing their carbon footprints, the total CO2 emissions of the 235 flights of their shared helicopter since September last year amount to 317 tonnes, which is equivalent to the average emissions of a person in France over a period of 32 years.