Dassault Faces Negative Net Order Tally

 - April 23, 2009, 12:13 PM

Dassault Aviation has announced a negative number of net orders–minus 27–for Falcon business jets during the first quarter due to cancellations. In the same period the French aircraft manufacturer delivered 11 Falcons compared with 15 in the first three months of last year, while revenues fell by 28 percent. Dassault is therefore slowing the monthly production rate for Falcons. It was standing close to eight per month last year, and plans for ramping up to 10 per month were dropped in January. There is a hiring freeze on new production employees, senior company executives told a joint production committee earlier this month. In addition, temporary workers at Dassault’s factories are being pared and employees are being encouraged to take their vacations in an “accelerated” manner. A spokesman told AIN that there have also been modest layoffs at several facilities since late last year and more are expected. In addition employees will have to take salary reductions in the form of shorter work hours. All OEMs are finding that some customers are facing last-minute financing shortages right before the delivery of their business jet, putting further pressure on manufacturers’ production and delivery schedules.