With dramatic expansion of the Middle Eastern business jet market predicted, Dassault is eyeing the region as a venue for sales of its recently unveiled super mid-size Falcon 5X jet.
The 50th anniversary year of the company’s Falcon business jet brand has been a busy one for Dassault Aviation. The French company has revamped its range, and introduced the super mid-size Falcon 5X at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas in October. The company has a large presence at Dubai, reflecting its perception of a resurgent business aviation market in the Middle East.
There are 67 Falcons in use by operators in the region, 30 of which have been delivered in the past five years. But Dassault, encouraged by a forecast from the Middle East Business Aviation Association that there will be twice as many business jets in the Middle East by the end of the decade, is continuing to expand its already significant investment in the region.
“We are proud to list prestigious regional operators like Saudi Private Aviation and Wallan Aviation among our loyal customers,” Dassault’s chairman and CEO, Eric Trappier, said in a statement released on the eve of the Dubai Air Show. “We forecast continued growth in the years ahead, and plan to continue investing in the region to better support our operators.”
Dassault’s footprint in the Middle East is already considerable. As well as a sales office, a spares distribution facility and an authorized service center in Dubai, the company operates another service hub and a technical office in Jeddah.
The company believes the 5X will become popular with the region’s business jet customers. Its cabin has a larger cross-section than comparable aircraft, increasing passenger comfort, while its 5,200 nm range means it can connect the UAE with the entirety of the African and European continents, as well as other destinations in the Middle East.
It is also expected to be cheaper to run, with a fuel burn of around 40% below other comparable aircraft. The 5X is expected to enter service in 2017.