Dassault is confident it will end the year with a 50% increase in Falcon sales over 2003, having already matched the 40 orders taken in the whole of last year. It is boosting output, having slashed production in the post-2001 downturn.

"There has been an upswing - the market has picked up," says Dassault chairman Charles Edelstenne. "Twenty-eight Falcons were ordered in the first half of this year, compared to 15 in the same period last year and we have now sold 40."

Edelstenne expects to end the year with "between 55 and 60 orders - nearer 60". Although this is a significant improvement on the 40 orders booked last year, it is still below pre-2002 levels, "when we were selling 80 aircraft a year".

Production at Dassault's Falcon assembly plant at Merignac had been slashed from a monthly peak of 6.5 aircraft to a low of 2.5 a month. Edelstenne says it is now "a bit more than five a month".



Source: Flight International