Dassault is ready to launch new business jet
Dassault is ready to launch its new Falcon business jet but is waiting for an appropriate time to make the announcement.
Eric Trappier, CEO and chairman Dassault told journalists and analysts during the firm’s 2019 financial results conference on February 28th, 2020, that the company is ready to make the announcement but will choose a different time to do so.
“I could announce this today, but I have decided that I wouldn’t,” said Trappier. “It’s the art of timing your announcements.”
Although Trappier said that Dassault is currently working on the best date to make the announcement, he acknowledged a little “teasing” was involved, as he confirmed the announcement would be made this year.
“I announced it in Las Vegas [at the NBAA event]. I said that it was going to happen this year,” said Trappier. “It’s the standard procedure I would say, you always announce your announcements in advance.”
Dassault is thought to have been working on its new aircraft for several years. And hints about a new aircraft have been dropped for several years. During a 2017 Dassault event, Trappier had said that he would not wait for a recovery in the business-jet market before launching a new aircraft.
‘Expand the company’s horizons’
Speaking during the company’s press conference during NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas in 2019, Trappier said that the new aircraft, to be revealed in 2020, will “Expand the company’s horizons.”
Although details of the new aircraft remain scant, it is likely that it will use the fuselage barrel from the upcoming Falcon 6X. That aircraft was developed from the now-cancelled Falcon 5X, which despite a prototype flying, was abandoned due to problems with the Snecma Silvercrest engines that were due to power it.
Dassault’s options when it comes to a new aircraft are most likely to be a brand-new aircraft larger than its Falcon 8X flagship, or a replacement for the ageing Falcon 2000 series.
Many analysists and Falcon watchers believe that the new aircraft will be the largest Falcon built to date, with many assuming it will take on the Falcon 9X name. Corporate Jet Investor put this suggestion to Trappier in 2016, but he laughed it off saying, instead, that the new Falcon will be called the: “NX, as it is the next Falcon.”
The industry has been moving more towards larger, long-range aircraft in recent years. During the 2008 global financial crisis, it was the lower end of the market that suffered the most, with large-cabin jets remaining relatively stable.
The large-cabin category is expected to drive the industry over the next 10 years, with Bombardier’s David Coleal saying during the Corporate Jet Investor London 2020 conference that 52% of all business jet deliveries over the course of the next 10 years will be in the large-cabin category.
Dassault’s decision to hold off on launching the aircraft in past couple of years is likely due to other manufacturers announcing new and updated models in the category that the new Falcon might compete in.
Bombardier used EBACE 2018 as a platform to launch its Global 5500 and Global 6500 aircraft, with Gulfstream launching the G700 during 2019s NBAA-BACE.
Dassault could be limited in its options this year on when to launch the new Falcon due to the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus. Although the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) is currently still scheduled for May, the growing sense of fear around the virus means that people have started questioning the safety of large gatherings such as EBACE.