Newly certified Falcon 8X also expected to drive future growth in Africa
Saint-Cloud, France. Dassault Aviation will present its popular large cabin, long range Falcon 7X at the Africa Aerospace & Defence Expo, to be held at Waterkloof Air Force base, South Africa, from September 14-18.
Dassault’s three-engined Falcons are extremely popular among African operators, who highly value their legendary sturdiness, reliability and operating economy. Some 70 Falcon aircraft are in operation in the region, more than half of them large cabin trijets. Half of the deliveries over the past decade have been for the popular very long range Falcon 7X. The 5,950 nm 7X can link African capitals directly to most destinations in Europe, including highly restricted airports like London City, Gstaad and Lugano, Switzerland.
The Falcon 2000 product line, led by Dassault’s new 2000LXS and 2000S short-field champions, are also popular among African customers, who appreciate their unparalleled flexibility and operating economy.
Pre-owned Falcons are currently in demand in the region as well because of their robustness and lower operating costs.
“Although market growth has slowed due to the weak economy, which has suffered from declining oil and commodity prices, our regional fleet is continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace,” said Gilles Gautier, Vice President, Falcon Sales for Dassault Aviation. “Falcons have long been recognized by African operators for their greater reliability and versatility and the added safety and operating benefits offered on long haul routes by Dassault’s unique three-engine design” added Gautier.
In addition to current in-production models, Dassault expects African operators to give a warm reception to the new Falcon 8X ultra-long range trijet, which was certified in June and will begin deliveries in the coming weeks. The 6,450 nm 8X will fly from Cape Town to London, or Lagos to Atlanta non-stop while benefiting from the outstanding operating efficiency and flexibility of the 7X, from which it is derived. It will also feature the longest cabin of any Falcon and a selection of cabin configurations unmatched in the industry.
Also expected to generate strong demand in Africa is Dassault’s all-new Falcon 5X twinjet, due to enter the market in 2020. The extra large body 5X will offer the highest and widest cabin in business aviation.
To ensure African customers that their aircraft will receive top-notch support, Dassault continues to reinforce and expand its regional service network. Last year the company opened an Authorized Service Center in Lagos, Nigeria. Operated by ExecuJet Aviation, the Lagos facility handles scheduled and unscheduled maintenance for Falcon 7X, 900 and 2000 series aircraft and houses a stock of spare parts as well. Dassault also has two ASC’s in Johannesburg, one operated by ExecuJet, the other by Bakhari, along with a company-owned spares depot.
The company’s Dassault Falcon Service affiliate operates a satellite station in Libreville, Gabon.
Since the last AAD Expo, African customers have also been able to call on Falcon Response, Dassault’s new comprehensive suite of AOG services. Operators from the region have already benefited from the dedicated Falcon 900 missions made available by Falcon Response to handle AOG situations and, if necessary, provide alternative lift for passengers – an industry first.
Providing a superior customer experience is a top priority at Dassault, as evidenced by recent surveys that have placed the company at the top of the industry in terms of aircraft reliability and the quality and dependability of support services. Falcons enjoy a spares service level rating greater than 98% – the highest in business aviation – and can rely on more than $750 million in spares inventory stocked in 15 warehouses around the world.