Dassault Falcon has secured a deal for a single Falcon 8X with an undisclosed Indonesian customer. The deal was made in 2017, making the type’s first entry into Southeast Asia’s largest business jet market. The news was revealed by Jean-Michel Jacob, president, of Dassault Falcon Asia Pacific, prior to the Singapore Airshow.
Following a few years of economic uncertainty in China, operators were holding their horses for aircraft replacement and acquisition. Last year, Dassault (Chalet CD37) finally saw an increase in demands for their business jets across Asia. China continues to be the largest market for the French airframer, with 60 Falcons in China.
“We have more customers in China looking to either buy or replace aircraft in the last six to seven months,” Jacob said. “We have similar interests in Southeast Asia due to the improved situation in China.”
Dassault delivered two aircraft to Thailand last year and is working to secure a Falcon 8X deal in Malaysia. Jacob is confident that the company will land a few more contracts in 2018.
Large business jets with greater range are preferred by Asian customers. With a range of 6,450 nm (11,945 km) the Falcon 8X can cover Asia and reach Europe from Singapore, and to the United States when flown from China.
A distinctive Falcon feature, the three-engine jet not only provides greater safety and redundancy when flying over water, it is also able to fly a shorter and more direct route, not being restricted by ETOPS regulations.
Jacob also said the company will reveal more about its new model that will replace the 5X jet program at a later date. Dassault cancelled its contract with Safran and its troubled Silvercrest turbofan after several delays, turning to Pratt & Whitney Canada for a replacement engine late in 2017.