Falcon Deliveries for 2008 Downgraded

 - December 23, 2008, 8:18 AM

Dassault on Friday downgraded its 2008 delivery planning for Falcons, citing new FAA “constraints.” The manufacturer said the delivery rate increase that was expected for the fourth quarter will not be met and some deliveries have been postponed to the first quarter of next year. A Dassault spokesman explained to AIN that the FAA has been enforcing regulations in a stricter way since it was accused of insufficient oversight with Southwest Airlines earlier this year. One example is that Dassault now has to submit two-dimensional drawings for cabin furniture, whereas engineers had switched to 3-D images. The process requires a greater investment of time for FAA inspectors. The bottom line is that 2008 revenues will be 10 percent below 2007’s. Meanwhile, Dassault has reached a “definitive agreement” with Alcatel-Lucent on the latter’s shares in avionics specialist Thales. The €1.57 billion ($2.2 billion) deal should close next spring. Dassault will then own 26 percent of Thales, ranking second after the French state. The two parties have signed a shareholders agreement.