Dassault plans to open a new service center for its Falcon business jets at Shanghai’s Hongqiao International Airport in partnership with the host of this year’s ABACE event, Shanghai Hawker Pacific. The facility should be open by the end of June.
The Dassault Falcon Aircraft Services-China center “will play a key role with a Falcon fleet that is expected to triple by the end of 2012,” said the French manufacturer. Its current Falcon fleet in China consists of eight aircraft, and the company has an order backlog of 20 Falcon 7Xs in the country.
“This facility in Shanghai is an essential part of our strategy to support our growing market share in China,” said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon (Booth S104). “We sold our first new Falcon to China in 2006 but the market has now grown to become our largest for new aircraft order and our most promising.”
The company also opened a sales office in Shanghai recently, having established an office in Beijing in 2010. From his base in China, Jean Michel Jacob has taken over as senior vice president for international sales.
A team of Dassault personnel with extensive hands-on experience with Falcon types, such as the 2000LX, 900LX and the 7X, “will bring extensive, hands-on Falcon maintenance experience to Shanghai Hawker Pacific’s facilities for support of local and transient Falcon aircraft,” said the company, “as well as providing an opportunity to transfer significant knowledge and maintenance experience to Chinese maintenance engineers in this developing market.”
Here at the ABACE show this week, Dassault Falcon has a Falcon 7X and a Falcon 2000LX on display, and the company is holding a maintenance and operations conference in Shanghai for the first time today. This is part of a series of M&O meetings around the world that will also be held in the U.S., Italy, Switzerland, Canada, India and Brazil.
Shanghai Hawker Pacific was the first third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in mainland China and is a joint partnership with the Shanghai Airports Authority. It recently gained Part 145 approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), including approval for the Falcon 7X, with Falcon 900LX and 2000LX approvals expected to follow “within six months.”
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Falcon customers have a choice of repair facilities in the region. As well as Shanghai they can also use Hawker Pacific’s existing facilities in Singapore and Sydney, Australia, and Jet Aviation’s base in Hong Kong.