French President Emmanuel Macron calls Dassault’s “sudden death” a “tragic loss”.
French billionaire Olivier Dassault was killed in a helicopter crash, according to parliamentary and investigative sources.
The private helicopter crashed Sunday afternoon in Normandy, where it has a vacation home, a police source said.
French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the 69-year-old man, saying on Twitter that Dassault “has never ceased to serve our country, to promote its strengths. His sudden death is a great loss ”.
Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, deputy, local elected, reserve commander in the air force: during his lifetime, he never ceased to serve our country, to promote its assets. His sudden death is a great loss. Reflections on his family and loved ones.
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 7, 2021
Translation: Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, deputy, local elected, reserve commander in the air force: during his lifetime, he never ceased to serve our country, to promote its assets. His sudden death is a great loss. Thoughts to his family and loved ones.
Sources close to the crash investigation said the helicopter pilot was also killed and no one else was on board.
Dassault was the eldest son of French billionaire industrialist Serge Dassault, whose group builds Rafale warplanes and owns the newspaper Le Figaro.
Lawmaker of the conservative Les Républicains party since 2002, Dassault was considered the 361st richest man in the world alongside his two siblings, with an inherited wealth of around 6 billion euros ($ 7.15 billion). largely from her father, according to the Forbes 2020. rich list.
He resigned from his duties on the board of directors of Dassault because of his political role to avoid any conflict of interest.
Olivier, considered the favorite of founder Marcel, was once considered the favorite to succeed Serge at the head of the family holding company, but this role falls to the former CEO of Dassault Aviation, Charles Edelstenne.
“Great sadness at the news of the sudden disappearance of Olivier Dassault,” said on Twitter Valérie Pécresse, a conservative politician in the presidency of the Paris region.
“Businessman, but also renowned photographer, he had a passion for politics in his blood, rooted in his department of Oise. My warm thoughts to his family.
“I am thinking of his family and loved ones who must be in terrible pain,” said Richard Ferrand, president of the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament in which Dassault was representative of the Oise region in The north of france.
Many of Dassault’s political right-wing colleagues also paid tribute.