With a fleet expected to soar from 1,800 aircraft today to almost 2,100 by 2012, Dassault Falcon (stand 7090) is ramping up its worldwide support network, creating a new organisation and two new service centres.

The French manufacturer opened in April its third facility in the USA, at Reno Tahoe airport in Nevada, and is adding its first South American site, at São Paulo in Brazil. Central and South America is Dassault's third biggest market after North America and Europe and it expects its fleet there will grow by 21% between 2007 and 2011.

The additions bring Dassault's company-owned service network to five sites. In addition to Teterboro, New Jersey, it has centres in Little Rock, Arkansas and Le Bourget, near Paris, both of which it has expanded in the past 18 months.

Jacques Chauvet is now heading a new worldwide customer service operation after the Paris-based eastern hemisphere business he ran was merged with its US-based counterpart.

"With record sales and the deepest backlog in business aviation, unifying the support team under one leader is vital to keeping up with the growing Falcon fleet," says John Rosanvallon, president of Dassault Falcon.

The hub of Dassault's aftersales network -which also includes 26 third-party service facilities -is a technical call centre at its St Cloud headquarters near Paris, opened last year. Supported by smaller operations at Boise, Idaho and Teterboro, the centre provides 24h help for operators.

Dassault has also introduced a series of "E forums": hour-long internet-based seminars designed to provide an exchange of information and best practices among the manufacturer and operators. A total of 32 Falcon 7X customers took part in the first session in March.

Frank Youngkin, vice-president of customer service for the western hemisphere, says the forums are "a cost-effective tool that's flexible and interactive, and improves our responsiveness to customer feedback and information-sharing techniques".

Source: Flight Daily News