Airshow mastery meets business innovation

Airshow mastery meets business innovation

With a career spanning over two decades, Paul Bennett has flown from the shipyard to the stratosphere, leading a conglomerate that covers everything from airshows to resin manufacturing and freight.

A pilot of 25 years, Paul Bennet started Paul Bennet Airshows after finding success as a competitive aerobatic pilot and has become a renowned international airshow performer since. Today, he heads the Paul Bennet Group, an enterprise that covers not just airshows but also includes a flight school and businesses in fibreglass manufacturing and freight services.

Taking to the skies

Paul’s journey into the skies began with competitive aerobatics. After winning Australia's aerobatic championships in both the advanced and unlimited categories, it was a natural progression for him to venture into airshows. "I guess I had a bit of a passion for that," he says.

Business diversification

His background, however, is as a shipwright, which was how Trojan Fibreglass, a composite resin manufacturing business, began. This then led to the freight servicing arm of Paul Bennet Group, Trojan Freight.

“When I moved to Newcastle, I was right into sailing, and so I was building skiffs. That sort of led to the fibreglass business, and so then I ended up with Trojan Fiberglass.

“Because the fiberglass business was growing so much, we found ourselves buying a lot of material from overseas. And so to start with, all that material got freighted to us from outside contractors. We bought one small truck that we could do our own deliveries on, and then soon that wasn't big enough, so we got a bigger truck.

“Then we had two trucks, and then we sold the first one and then bought a semi, and one thing just led to another. Now there's 10 trucks and 26 or 27 trailers, and so then we ended up doing freight for everyone else as well.”

The role of cross-border payments

Given the diversity of Paul’s businesses, international payments play an essential role. From sourcing materials for Trojan Fiberglass to procuring aircraft for his flight school, overseas transactions are frequent and complex. "We buy a lot of material from overseas," Paul says.

"With the aeroplanes, when we've got to buy cylinders, pistons, engines, spares, propellers – any of those things – we normally buy that in US dollars, and most of that gear comes in from the US.

“With our flight school, we buy our aeroplanes from overseas, so from the Czech Republic. So we use WorldFirst to pay for all those aircraft.”

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Materials for Trojan Fibreglass are also sourced from overseas. For Dean Boote, General Manager, “the competitive exchange rate is a good option, and then that live rate gives us a good informed decision to lock those rates in if it's going to go up or down. And that helps us mitigate our costs.”

Using the online platform almost daily, Paul chose to partner with WorldFirst because “the most important thing to us is transparency. Payments are always secure and efficient, and the service we get is second to none.”

Nidhi Kataria
14 years in brand and marketing across finance and payments.

Disclaimer: These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice. Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits.


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