At his company's annual financial analyst meeting held Thursday, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne announced record results for the second consecutive year for Falcon business jets.
A total of 158 firm orders were received worldwide in 2006. This includes a $1.1 billion US order from NetJets Europe for 24 Falcon 7X tri-jets, the largest order ever for business jets in Europe. Dassault Aviation 2006 sales were 3.3 billion Euros with Falcon business jets ($4.32 billion US), accounting for 62% of total consolidated sales.
"Driven by growth outside of North America, the worldwide market for business jets remained impressive in 2006," said Edelstenne. "It wasn’t long ago that 40% of our sales came from outside the US but that number has grown to more than 60% driven this year primarily by Western Europe. It’s important to recognize that the US market has not weakened, other markets have gained strength."
Growth was also particularly strong in Brazil, India and the Middle East. At the end of 2006, Dassault had a total backlog of more than 300 aircraft. Over 80 aircraft will be delivered in 2007 compared to 61 in 2006. Delivery rates will continue to increase in 2008.
"A substantial fuel efficiency advantage and consistently superior retained values continue to be the force behind the success of our Falcon sales efforts," said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon. "2007 promises to be another strong year for Dassault Falcon driven largely by these advantages."
The sales success of the Falcon 7X continued in 2006 and into 2007, with over 150 firm orders booked since the announcement of the program. This makes the Falcon 7X the most successful launch of a business jet ever in terms of sales dollar value. The next available delivery position is in the second half of 2011.
The Falcon 7X flight test and certification program accumulated 1520 flight test hours over 543 flights, and is now complete. Certification from both the EASA and FAA are expected soon with first deliveries in the second quarter of 2007.
In 2006, Dassault Falcon’s Little Rock (AR) Completion Center completed further expansion to accommodate growth, including 99,000 square feet of completion space that has been dedicated to Falcon 7X completions. Employment is expected to increase by about 200 over the coming years to meet the unprecedented demand for the 5,950 nm business jet.