Dassault Aviation, French manufacturer of military aircraft and business jets, will deliver 10 long-range Falcon 8Xs globally, including one to an Indian corporate customer, this year. This was revealed by the company’s senior vice-president (civil aircraft), Olivier Villa. The large-cabin trijet business jet, 3.2 feet longer than its predecessor Falcon 7X, is set to be certified in mid-2016. The Falcon 8X can fly non-stop from anywhere in India to destinations such as London City Airport. “We have been seeing good traction in the Indian market and expect the country’s accelerated economic growth to translate into rising Falcon sales going forward,” said Villa.
Currently, 22 aircraft from the Falcon family are in service in India. According to the company, a majority of new Indian Falcon orders are for longer range models such as the Falcon 7X and Falcon 8X. Dassault’s popular Falcon 2000 twin-jet, which is now approaching the 600th production mark, accounts for the largest portion of the present Indian fleet.
Stating that the market has been disappointing, resulting in a drop in sales since the past two years, Villa said the company was optimistic on future sales, thanks to its good customer base and demand, primarily for the Falcon 2000 series and the Falcon 7X and 8Xs.
Since the rollout of the first Falcon in 1963, Dassault has so far delivered around 2,400 Falcon jets globally. Dassault predicts strong demand among Indian customers for its new Falcon 5X very-large-body twin-jet, which is currently in development. According to the company, the Falcon 5X is due to enter service in 2020.