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.
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.
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.
Dassault is preparing to deliver the first Falcon 2000S to be based in India next month, following certification by India’s aviation authority on November 1. The new twinjet will be based in Bangalore. To date, Dassault has handed over 10 Falcon 2000Ss since deliveries started in April.
After the unveiling of the Dassault Falcon 5X at an NBAA 2013 press briefing at Henderson Executive Airport on Monday, it came as no surprise that Dassault Falcon used its annual NBAA breakfast as a springboard to provide a nearly one-hour overview of the French OEM’s newest business jet.
It isn’t an easy task, stepping into the footprint of someone such as Gérard Dailloux–who served Dassault Aviation (Booth No. N6100) for nearly 30 years–but Frédéric Leboeuf, a pilot and 20-year veteran of the French Navy, is up for the challenge. Leboeuf, based at Dassault Aviation’s Saint-Cloud headquarters in Paris, France, will head the Falcon operational support department, which oversees all aspects of flight operations. The department assists owner-operators with their new aircraft deliveries and also trains pilots and audits pilot-training providers.
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