Airbus Group announced yesterday that it is “pursuing disposal options for its investment in Dassault Aviation.” Airbus’s 46-percent share gives it no power in decision making and is only a legacy of the share the French state used to have in Dassault. The Dassault family, via the GIMD holding company, owns slightly more than 50 percent of the manufacturer of the Rafale fighter and the Falcon business jets. Investor activist group TCI estimates that Airbus’s share in Dassault is worth €5 billion.
Dassault Aviation received orders for 38 Falcons in the first half of this year while delivering 25, CEO Eric Trappier announced on Friday in Paris. The orders were worth €1.6 billion ($2.2 billion), a 29-percent increase over the same period in 2013 and a continuous improvement since the first half of 2011.
Charles Edelstenne, former CEO of Dassault Aviation, was designated the successor of Serge Dassault last week. The general assembly of Dassault Aviation’s parent company, Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault, voted unanimously for the creation of a “succeeding statutory president” position. Edelstenne, 76, will thus automatically succeed Dassault, 89, in case the groups presidency is “vacant, for whatever reason,” the firm said.
Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation’s chairman and CEO, said late in April that he found the business jet market “a little bit slow.” He would like to see a more active market, especially in the U.S.“But step-by-step we are back on the right track, in terms of orders,” he added. AIN understands that Falcon salespeople have found the first four months of 2014 tougher than expected.
Jets marks its 10th anniversary with continued growth, particularly at London Biggin Hill Airport, where it acquired a facility in late 2012. The move saw the company expand into Dassault Falcon 2000 and 900 maintenance with its designation as an authorized service center. “In the next 12 months we hope to expand our relationship with Dassault. We also intend to bolster our work on the Challenger 300 at Biggin Hill, and have recently appointed more engineers dedicated to the type,” said Jets managing director Alan Barnes.
Dassault delivered nine Falcons in the first quarter, one more than it did in the same period a year ago, the company announced today. Still, revenues at Dassault Falcon fell year-over-year by €14 million ($19.35 million), to €397 million ($548.6 million), which equates to 68 percent of net revenues at parent Dassault Aviation. During the quarter, Dassault booked orders for 12 Falcons, compared with 14 Falcons in the year-ago period.
Dassault Falcon Jet plans to bolster its parts inventory in China three-fold this summer, to 3,000 items worth $13 million. “China presents a unique set of business challenges that Dassault has been able to negotiate successfully thanks to a healthy relationship we have with the Chinese authorities. This level of parts commitment is just one example of our long-term dedication to this market,” said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet.
Dassault Falcon saw greatly improved sales in China last year, and this year is shaping up to be strong as well, it said today at ABACE 2014. The company attributes this success in China to its investment in product support, marketing and customer service. Its customer service efforts are managed through Dassault Falcon’s wholly owned foreign entity, which is staffed by Chinese-speaking employees.
The Dassault Falcon 2000S and 2000LXS received approval to operate at London City Airport, which requires steep approach (5.5 degree) approvals by aircraft model, as well as for crewmembers. With these latest approvals, Dassault claims to be the only business jet manufacturer to have its entire in-production fleet certified to operate at London City. “The ability to operate at London City gives our operators an added measure of flexibility and a distinct advantage in their day-to-day operations,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier.
As already reported by AIN, Dassault Aviation will launch a new Falcon business jet at May’s EBACE show in Geneva. At a press conference in Paris on Thursday to announce its annual financial results, the French group’s CEO, Eric Trappier, confirmed its intention to introduce an aircraft currently being developed under the name “M 1000” but declined to give any other details.
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