Dassault Falcon Jet continued the good news on the opening day of this year’s National Business Aviation Association convention by announcing that year-to-date it has already registered 67 firm orders, more than its total for full year 2013.
John Rosanvallon, President & CEO (below), said strong demand from the U.S. and Northern Europe, particularly the U.K., Germany, and Scandinavia, have offset trepidation in former high growth markets such as China.
The airplane maker announced during a press conference here it was dedicating two Falcon 900s for customer use, one in Teterboro and a second at Le Bourget. In addition to being able to expedite spare parts, Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation (below), said, the planes could be used by customers in the event of a mechanical delay. A second focus, to reduce the price of replacement parts for customers through “right size pricing,” is making progress with over 50,000 items reviewed and “thousands” of part prices reduced. Furthermore, the company has enhanced customer facilities at its completion center in Little Rock to provide a “more comfortable” experience, and introduced a new online customer portal.
Executives provided updates on its two models in development, the 5X and 8X, expected to be delivered to customers in 2017 and 2016, respectively, with first flights taking place in the first half of next year.
Olivier Villa, Senior Vice President of Commercial Aircraft, emphasized that the 8X when it comes on line will retain the short field capability and efficiencies of the 7X (the maker claims access to 500 more airports in the U.S. compared to the Gulfstream G550) and add range, enabling missions such as Hong Kong to London, Johannesburg or Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Moscow and Tel Aviv, or Beijing to New York. Its high altitude capability means it’s possible to fly nonstop from Puebla, Mexico to Stockholm, London or Paris.
Inside, elite travelers will have 30 layout options including a shower, long facing couches, big screen televisions and extended galley and crew rest space. In total there is 15 percent more volume in the passenger area, he said.
While Dassault is known for its access to fighter jet technology to enhance performance, one area officials said the manufacturer doesn’t plan on venturing is supersonic aircraft. Responding to a question from the audience, executives questioned if there is enough demand.