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Dassault Aviation - Falcon sales and milestones

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Dassault Aviation
: 01 March, 2008  (Application Story)
For the third consecutive year, Dassault set a record for Falcon business jet sales with 212 firm orders worldwide. "The results are a tremendous statement to the benefits of business aviation which are now only being understood in some areas of the world,’ said Edelstenne.
“The trend of widespread global growth that has lead to three years of record sales started a couple of years ago when markets such as Europe, Russia, Brazil and the Asia-Pacific countries entered a very rapid expansion phase,” said Edelstenne. “Those markets continue to grow along with India and the Middle East. Dassault’s sales balance is moving towards those and other countries, from markets that have traditionally been the strongest like the United States.”

Dassault’s continued success over years can be traced to a number of factors. “All of our models are well positioned to meet our customers’ needs. They’re fuel efficient in a time of very high jet fuel prices. The cabins are spacious and well appointed in a time when missions are getting longer. And a very high retained value helps to drive financial considerations during the process,” said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon.

Continued Rosanvallon, “Those three factors were especially true in 2007 with the Falcon 7X and Falcon 2000LX. They’re both high tech and highly efficient and very much in demand.” Over 200 Falcon 7X aircraft had been sold by the end of 2007.

2007: A Year of Milestones and Firsts

One of the highlights of 2007 occurred on April 27 when the Falcon 7X received simultaneous certification from both the EASA and the FAA. Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne remarked, “Certification is a new chapter in the life of every airplane. But when the aircraft has broken new ground and surpassed so many technical barriers it is truly an event to be remembered.”

The 5,950 nm Falcon 7X entered service on June 14 when Mr. Gilbert Chagoury took delivery of s/n 05 from Dassault’s Little Rock Completion Center. The first passenger mission was a non-stop flight to Le Bourget on the eve of the Paris Air Show.

The eve of the Paris Air Show also marked the beginning of the future Super Mid-Sized Falcon when Dassault announced an engine partnership with Rolls Royce. Five engine options were thoroughly studied and analyzed before choosing the all new engine that will feature thrust in the 10,000 lb range.

At EBACE, Dassault launched a new addition to the Falcon family of business jets with the Falcon 2000LX. Based on the popular 2000EX, the new aircraft will feature a range of 4,000 nm at Mach .80 and a best in-class climb speed to 41,000 feet in just 18 minutes. The advanced winglet design by Aviation Partners on the Falcon 2000LX reduces drag as much as 5%, offering corresponding range and efficiency improvements over the 2000EX.

John Rosanvallon said at the time of the launch, “The range increase certainly gives our customers more capability and more efficiency on longer trips and they will surely enjoy seeing their fuel consumption numbers drop.” Just one month after being announced, National Air Service (NAS) of Saudi Arabia signed an agreement for 20 Falcon 2000LXs marking one of the largest purchase of business jets in the Middle East region.

Another new member to the Falcon 2000 family reached several milestones in 2007. The Falcon 2000DX first flew from Dassault’s facility in Bordeaux-Merignac in June. Test pilots Denis Garnier and Herve Laverne were at the controls of the maiden flight that lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. The 3,250 nm Falcon 2000DX received approval from both the EASA and the FAA in September and October respectively. The first aircraft is scheduled to enter service shortly.

Finally, the Falcon 900 family reached an impressive milestone. In November, the 400th Falcon 900 was delivered into service when CITIC took delivery of a Falcon 900DX. Launched in 1981, the first flight of the Falcon 900 took place in 1984. Every Falcon 900 ever built is still in operation today. “The Falcon 900 has thrived for so many years because of its versatility, comfort, performance and fuel efficiency,” said Rosanvallon at the time of CITIC’s delivery.

Dedicated to the Customer

The goal of providing optimal service to all Falcon operators took a big step forward in 2007 with the opening of a new Falcon Technical Center in St. Cloud, France. The facility represents a new concept in customer support that takes full advantage of the latest advances in technology. Cutting edge communications systems provide quick and comprehensive customer solutions and puts real-time fleet and service information at the fingers of the center’s technical support staff.

“As advanced as the new center is, we haven’t lost sight of the human element. All calls to the new center will be answered by an engineer to improve person-to-person contact,” said Jacques Chauvet, Dassault Aviation’s Vice President of Customer Service. The St. Cloud center works together with the Falcon Technical Support team in Teterboro, NJ and a new technical center located in Boise, Idaho which was also opened in 2007.

All three Dassault owned Service Centers announced expansions or additional staffing in 2007. Dassault’s Little Rock Facility announced a project that will double the service square footage by the end of 2008 and add 100 positions over the next three years. The Wilmington Service Center announced an additional 30 maintenance and technical personnel will be added by the middle of 2008. Dassault Falcon Service in Le Bourget also broke ground on a expansion that will expand the facility by 46,300 square feet by September 2008 and will accommodate an additional six Falcon 900 or 4 Falcon 7X, to the existing 18 slots.

Completion capacity increased dramatically in 2007 and will further increase in 2008. Dassault announced, with Governor Mike Beebe, in June that the Little Rock Completion Center will add 116,000 square feet of production space by the end of 2008. In August, Governor Ruth Miner of Delaware announced Dassault Falcon Jet-Wilmington will begin limited completions on Falcon 2000 family for NetJets. About 12 airplanes will be completed in Wilmington in 2008.

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