Dassault Falcon fails to recover as 2016 shipments dip
Jan 11, 2017
Dassault Falcon’s annual aircraft shipments dipped for the second year running in 2016. The slump in the company’s shipments is attributable to a persistent lull in the market for large-cabin business jets, according to Kate Sarsfield’s news article published at the FlightGlobal website on 10 January 2017.
Sarsfield quotes figures from a preliminary 5 January 2017 report sourced from French Airframer, which shows that “Dassault shipped a combined 49 Falcon 2000S/LXS, 900LX, 7X and 8X business jets for the year to 31 December 2016.” This is significantly below the 2014 figure of 67 units and 2015 figure of 55 deliveries, according to Sarsfield.
This trend underscores the increasingly persistent caution in the large-cabin business jet market. The cumulative plunge of annual Falcon deliveries between 2014 and 2016 points to a market that is reluctant to embrace larger and long-range business jets.
Dassault has also had to contend with order cancellations due to technical setbacks. As Sarsfield reports: “Cancellations in 2016 included 12 examples of its developmental 5X large-cabin, long-range jet. This was originally scheduled for certification in 2017, but problems with its Snecma Silvercrest engines have pushed back service entry to 2020.”
The slumping market fortunes for these Dassault aircraft have affected the company’s overall financial performance. Sarsfield observes that “Dassault also recorded a 17% fall in net sales during 2016, to 21 aircraft, with its backlog showing similar levels of erosion, dropping to 63 Falcons by 31 December – 28 fewer than the previous year.” The exact impact of the slumping sales will be known on 8 March, when the company will release its full annual financial report for 2016.
On the brighter side, in October 2016, Dassault successfully delivered the Falcon 8X to a Greece-based private aviation operator — a major milestone considering that this was the company’s first-ever delivery of the 8X.