Falcon operators attending the World Economic Forum this week have a dedicated Dassault team on site to support them. The company has positioned the team at the Zurich Airport for the duration of the event. The forum, held in Davos, Switzerland, brings together business, political, intellectual and other high-profile leaders to debate global issues.
Dassault Falcon president and CEO John Rosanvallon sees Brazil as “one of the fastest-growing markets in the world,” and his company expects to deliver 13 new Falcons in Brazil over the next five years.
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.
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.
How can the Rafale be produced–and offered for export–at an economic price when the production rate is only about one aircraft per month? Official French statistics give a unit production cost of only ?64- to ?70 million in 2008 prices, depending on variant, excluding amortization of development costs, but including value-added tax of 19.6 percent (which would not be payable on export aircraft).
Yesterday during the NBAA Awards Luncheon, Olivier Dassault accepted the NBAA Meritorious Service to Aviation Award for his father, Serge, who wasn’t able to attend due to other business in Europe. The elder Dassault was chosen for NBAA’s most distinguished honor because he is “one of the most innovative leaders in business aviation,” according to NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. Serge is currently chairman and CEO of Dassault Group.