Ultra-long range trijet expected to drive future growth in Africa
Dassault Aviation will showcase its ultra-long range Falcon 8X at this year's edition of Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) Expo.
It will be the first appearance of the 6,450 nm/11,945 km trijet at this event, which opens at Waterkloof Air Force Base, South Africa, near Johannesburg, on September 19.
Dassault's three engined Falcons are very popular among African operators, who highly value their flexibility, reliability and operating economy. Demand has been especially strong of late for pre-owned trijets, in particular Falcon 900 models.
The regional fleet also includes a large number of in-production models, led by the 5,950 nm/ 11,020 km Falcon 7X very long range trijet, which can link African capitals directly to most popular destinations in the world, including for example in Europe, highly restricted airports like London City or Gstaad, and the Falcon 2000 line, whose unparalleled versatility and operating economy is greatly appreciated in the region.
"Though challenging, the African market remains dynamic for both new and second hand Falcon jets, whose robustness, agility and efficiency are highly valued in the region", said Olivier Villa, Executive Senior VP, Civil Aircraft for Dassault Aviation. "And as the average age of the regional fleet increases, we see strong opportunities ahead for replacement sales, in particular for the Falcon 8X."
The 8X has earned great praise from operators around the world for its ultra-silent cabin—the quietest in business aviation—and its unmatched flying and traveling comfort. The big jet provides customers with increased range and cabin volume compared to the Falcon 7X from which it was derived, allowing it to fly from Cape Town to London or from Lagos to Atlanta nonstop, and offers the best handling, flight economy and short field capability of any large cabin business jet.
Also expected to generate strong demand in Africa is the all-new Falcon 6X twinjet, due to enter the market in 2022. The 6X will feature a cabin six feet, six inches (1.98 m) high and 8 feet 6 inches (2.58 m) wide -- the highest and widest in a purpose built business jet — and offer the most advanced digital flight control system on the market. Its 5,500 nm/10,186 km range will enable it to link Paris to Johannesburg as well as Lagos to New York.
Reinforcing Customer Support
Optimizing after-market support 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, spares availability and aircraft on ground (AOG) support.
The company's affiliate, Dassault Falcon Service, recently opened a satellite service station in Lome, Togo as part of a steady expansion of the regional product support network. The new facility complements a pair of authorized service centers in Johannesburg and Lagos.
African customers are also able to call on Falcon Response, Dassault's comprehensive portfolio of AOG services. Several operators from the region have benefited from the dedicated Falcon 900 missions made available by Falcon Response to handle AOG situations and if necessary provide alternative lift – an industry first.