Financial results for the first half of 2010 appeared to suggest that Dassault Aviation has begun to reverse the severe downward trend its Falcon business jet operations have endured over the past 24 months or so.
Dassault Falcon 50
Aviation Partners (API) broaught a Falcon 50 equipped with radical-looking spiroid winglets to AirVenture, the airplane’s first public appearance after a two-month installation job at West Star Aviation in East Alton, Ill. The spiroid winglets are strictly a research-and-development program funded by the U.S. government and are not slated for production.
The business aviation market is getting stronger, but it’s not getting stronger soon enough to support hopes for a full-blown recovery in the short term, according to Dassault Aviation’s assessment of its financial results for the first half of this year. The French airframer said yesterday that, despite slowing order cancellations, it sold only two Falcons in the first six months of this year.
The first quarter of 2010 has been a disappointment in terms of aircraft sales and shows that the market is not yet recovering, Dassault CEO Charles Edelstenne told a press conference here in Geneva yesterday.
Air Charter Operator ExcelAire Adds Falcon 50
Dassault Aviation’s maintenance and operations (M&O) seminar held here in Geneva on April 1 was a prime opportunity for the Falcon business jet manufacturer to highlight customer support initiatives that it has taken in an effort to keep up with its North American competitors.
Falcon operators may now turn to Midcoast Aviation to meet the requirements of an impending airworthiness directive that will require structural modification
of the wing tank fuel bay on the Falcon 50/900/2000.
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.
East Alton, Ill.-based West Star Aviation is offering wing tank dry-bay modifications on Falcon 50s, 900s and 2000s. According to a company spokesman, the mod is designed to comply with the Dassault service bulletin calling for the mandatory modification for all Falcon 50, 900 and 2000 series.
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.