Dassault Aviation last month reported its 2009 sales and delivery totals, and the numbers were mixed. The company ended the year with a net tally of minus 163 Falcon orders but a record 77 deliveries. The company has no plans for job cuts in France, although it has slashed the U.S. workforce by 20 percent since the beginning of the downturn.
Dassault Aviation yesterday reported contrasting results for last year, with a negative net order tally of -163 Falcon business jets, but a record 77 Falcon deliveries. During a press conference held at the company’s headquarters near Paris yesterday morning, Dassault chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said the negative order number includes 65 cancellations from fractional provider NetJets.
Dassault Aviation on Monday said its revenue last year decreased 9 percent from 2008, coming in at €3.4 billion ($4.7 billion). This number lumps together sales and deliveries of Falcon business jets and military aircraft. To cope with the downturn, some activities have been transferred from one factory to another; for example, Dassault has migrated wiring work from its Mérignac to its Biarritz, France facilities.
The Dassault Falcon 7X received its type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. All in-production Falcon models are now certified in that country, the France-based manufacturer added. Dassault plans to deliver three of the 5,950-nm-range trijets in China by the end of this month. “We’ve been waiting for China to emerge as a strong force for several years.
After pioneering digital design in the aerospace industry 25 years ago, Dassault Aviation has implemented what it calls “the digital factory.” The Falcon 7X was the first aircraft to be produced using this concept, and the result was some impressive gains in manufacturing efficiency. Now Dassault has taken digitization one step further, by simulating the processes of aircraft completion and maintenance.
Officials from Team Rafale are quietly confident that a deal for up to 60 airplanes will be made with the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, they are signing agreements here at the show with local entities that further strengthen the French influence in Emirati education and industry.
Like other business jet OEMs, Dassault Falcon is suffering from the effects of the global downturn. But some parts of the world are rebounding faster than others, according to the French airframer. “Yes, the market has been challenging this past year, and we don’t expect any significant change until the middle of next year,” said Charles Edelstenne, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
The recipient of this year’s NBAA Meritorious Service Award to Aviation– the association’s most distinguished honor–is Serge Dassault, chairman emeritus of Dassault Falcon Jet.
John Rosanvallon, Dassault Falcon’s president and CEO, has worked at the company for 34 years. He began with the launch of the Falcon brand in the U.S. in the early 1970s and moved to Falcon Jet’s U.S. headquarters in Teterboro, N.J., in 1979, serving as assistant to the president, then as v-p of finance.
The FAA has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for an Airworthiness Directive (AD) that would affect about 1,082 Falcons on the U.S. registry, namely the Dassault Falcon 10, Fan Jet Falcon, Mystere-Falcon 200, Mystere-Falcon 20-C5/-D5/-E5/-F5, Falcon 2000, Falcon 2000EX, Mystere-Falcon 50 and 900, and Falcon 900EX.