Saudi NAS buys four Falcon 2000LX bizjets

 - June 25, 2007, 6:12 AM

Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services (NAS) signed an agreement yesterday to buy four Dassault Falcon 2000LX business jets plus options for an additional 16 airplanes in a deal potentially worth more than a half billion dollars.

At a signing ceremony yesterday, Dassault Falcon president and CEO John Rosanvallon celebrated with NAS president Taher Agueel and NetJets Middle East chairman Vincent Santulli. NetJets Middle East is a division of NAS launched in 1999 in cooperation with fractional-ownership giant NetJets and based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Rosanvallon said 2000LX deliveries to NAS are scheduled to start next year and will continue for the next six years. He declined to disclose how many orders the company has received for the airplane, but said interest has been high since the company launched the model at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva last month.

An upgraded version of the 2000EX with Aviation Partners blended winglets, the Falcon 2000LX will be capable of flying 200 nm farther than the EX, bringing the model’s range to 4,000 nm at Mach 0.8 and 41,000 feet. Rosanvallon said NAS had been negotiating to buy Falcon 2000EXs for some time and that the introduction of the winglet-equipped model “was more good news for them.”

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. Last month at EBACE the company placed an order with Gulfstream for three G450s plus options for 17 more. That deal could be worth $700 million.