Falcon 7X chosen for new VIP charter service in Saudi Arabia
This morning Saudi Arabian Airlines plans to sign an agreement with Dassault Falcon for seven Falcon 7X long-range business jets–four firm and three optioned. The first is scheduled for delivery in 2009.
Last week, National Air Services of Saudi Arabia, confirmed an order announced at the Paris Air Show in June, for 20 Falcon 2000LX aircraft. Four of these are firm, but John Rosenvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon, said he expects more to be firmed up before the end of December.
“This has been an exceptional year for us in the Middle East,” Rosenvallon said. “It represents the bigger global picture in that more of our sales are coming from customers outside the U.S. In 2005 the ratio was 50-50. Last year 60 percent of our sales were international. This year they could reach more than 70 percent.” Rosenvallon said he expects sales at Dassault Falcon, which is headquartered in Teterboro, New Jersey, to favor the international side for at least the next five years, at a ratio of about two to one.
Regarding the sales announced here, Saudi Arabian Airlines plans to operate the Falcon 7X jets in its VIP division. After delivery of the first aircraft, Dassault plans to deliver the rest at a rate of two per year.
The National Air Services Falcon 2000LX aircraft (which is the latest iteration of the 2000EX and distinguished by its Aviation Partners winglets) will be flown for the NetJets Middle East fractional ownership program. NetJets Middle East is a division of NAS, launched in 1999 in cooperation with fractional-ownership giant NetJets and based in Jeddah. NAS is the only licensed private aircraft operator in Saudi Arabia, giving it a high-profile position in the Middle East’s booming business jet market.
Order backlogs at Dassault Falcon, like most business aviation manufacturers, are currently measured in years, not months. The first available Falcon 900EX will be delivered in the second half of 2010. The next available Falcon 2000LX, the company’s best selling aircraft, is in early 2012. And if you ordered a Falcon 7X today, you wouldn’t take delivery of it until some time in the second half of 2013.
Here at the Dubai Air Show, Dassault Falcon officials can be found at the Dassault Aviation chalet (A31, 32).