Singapore Air Show

With fresh papers in hand, 7X set to take off in China

 - February 2, 2010, 1:49 AM

Dassault’s Falcon 7X business jet has received its type certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). All in-production Falcons are now certified in the country, the French-based manufacturer added. Salesmen are very optimistic  about sales in the region this year.

Dassault plans to deliver three examples of the trijet in the country this quarter. “We’ve been waiting for China to emerge as a strong force for several years. That time has arrived,” Dassault Falcon CEO John Rosanvallon said.

The 7X, with its 5,950-nm range, can fly from Beijing to Paris, Sidney or San Francisco. It can also connect Shanghai to Auckland, Seattle or London. It was type-certified in India last November.

Jean-Michel Jacob, Dassault Falcon Jet’s international sales vice president for the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions, told AIN that 2010 may be the company’s best year ever in Asia. “The economy here has suffered little from the downturn. We are receiving very concrete signs of interest,” he said.

The 5,950-nm Falcon 7X is Dassault’s best seller in the region. “Customers are mainly large corporations these days,” Jacob said. He insisted the Falcon name is practically as well known in Asia as that of Gulfstream.

He also reported that efforts are ongoing in customer support, an area where Dassault believes it also has almost caught up with the competition. An authorized service center, run by Hawker Pacific, is soon to open in Shanghai, and line maintenance centers are to be set up in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Dassault also announced here that it received, in December, a “Good Design” award from the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design. The 2009 award, shared with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, was given for the two companies’ collaboration on a new Falcon 7X interior option.

The Chicago Athenaeum said the interior “offers defining features, including uncompromising cabin comfort for temperature monitoring, thermal controls and custom-crafted interior furnishings.” Deliveries are to start in the third quarter of 2011.