Falcon Sales Up in 2008, Production Takes Hit in 2009
At its annual financial analysts meeting today, Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne announced a substantial increase in projected Falcon business jet deliveries this year, but noted that at the same time, “the production of green aircraft [in 2009] will be reduced as market conditions demand.” The French OEM delivered 72 business jets last year and anticipates deliveries of 90 this year. Business jet sales last year totaled $3.18 billion, 62 percent of the company’s total sales. Edelstenne made it clear that Dassault Falcon as well as the entire business aviation industry is being challenged by the current economic and credit crisis, but added, “Dassault has always taken the long-term view [and the company] will continue our ongoing investments in customer support as well as technology and innovation.” The investment in customer support includes the opening this year of two new factory-owned service centers, one in Reno, Nev., and one in São Paulo, Brazil, in addition to an increase in the capacity of the Le Bourget and Little Rock, Ark. service centers. Two major product development efforts remain on track. Certification of the more fuel efficient Falcon 900LX is expected in the first half of 2010 and development continues on the EASy Phase II flight deck with the latest synthetic vision technology.