First-half performance at Dassault Aviation is pointing to a tentative recovery of the large-cabin business jet market, which was hit hard worldwide in the financial crisis.
Group chairman Charles Edelstenne described the situation as "recovering slowly, although it remains far from 2008 levels".
In the January to June period, Dassault received a net 22 orders for Falcon jets, compared to just two orders in the first half of 2010 - a net loss of 56 orders in the first half of 2009.
Dassault did go backwards in the second half of 2010, finishing the year with a net negative nine orders, but even that was a huge improvement on 2009, when orders went backwards by a net 163 units.
What looks to be different now is a stabilisation of the second-hand market, with prices starting to firm up with "a little increase" in sales.
Edelstenne said this trend was crucial for new aircraft orders take off again, considering sales are often financed by prior pre-owned aircraft sales.
Falcon first-half sales were down 44% at €837 million ($1.2 billion). By value, the order take was up by 14% to €806 million.
The order book value, however, has been slipping, from €6.79 billion at the end of June 2010 to just €4.44 billion today.
First-half deliveries totalled 19, down from 45 a year ago.
Dassault's full-year delivery forecast is 65 units, barely two-thirds of the record 95 deliveries in 2010.
Regional sales variation is dramatic. During the first half of this year, China became the biggest market for Falcon jets, said Edelstenne, with India and Latin American showing "significant dynamism".
American and European markets remain "cautious", he said, while in the Middle East there have been "positive signals, but recent unrest clearly affects short-term international trade adversely".
Cessna has also recently reported strengthening demand for larger business aircraft, in terms of both orders and deliveries.