Dassault Reviews Falcon Production Ramp-up

 - January 20, 2009, 9:50 AM

Dassault is slowing the planned production ramp-up this year for its Falcon business jets due to the economic downturn. The target production rate of 10 Falcons per month that was to be reached late this year is thus being reviewed. Last year, the rate was close to eight airplanes per month. The French manufacturer’s management team last week announced to its joint production committee that “the current state of the economy is impacting the company,” according to a union source, who added that senior executives said the situation is “not catastrophic.” No layoffs are currently being considered, but hiring plans are now on hold and the number of temporary workers will be cut. Subcontractors will see their workload reduced, according to the source. Finally, the union source said “further studies” need to be done before Dassault launches the long-awaited super-midsize Falcon SMS. A source at Dassault told AIN that, despite news of slowing the production ramp-up, there will still be more Falcon deliveries this year than last year. However, he acknowledged that some customers will have difficulty financing their aircraft and will therefore ask for delivery deferrals.