Dassault continues to see weakness in the Chinese business jet market, but is more upbeat about other parts of the region for both private and government sales.
“My feeling is that for the moment we'll sell a few aircraft [in China], but not as many as we used to,” says Jean Michel Jacob, president of Dassault Aviation Asia Pacific.
“There are probably more aircraft leaving the country than there are entering. So, the total fleet might decrease. I don't know how long it will last, but the trade war is part of problem. The fact is that our buyers may buy, but I don't see many buyers for the coming months.”
Jacob spoke with FlightGlobal at the recent Avalon air show near Melbourne, Australia.
In addition to economic uncertainty created by trade tensions between Washington DC and Beijing, tighter credit conditions continue to pressure China’s once booming business jet market.
Jacob stresses that other countries in the region are doing “rather well.” The company recently placed two new Falcon jets in Vietnam, a key emerging market, though it did not disclose the specific types. Market sentiment is also upbeat in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
On the government front, Dassault has held discussions with several Southeast Asian nations about maritime surveillance requirements, though Jacob indicates that discussions are still at a preliminary stage.
“I can't say which ones will come through first, but there are many demands from different countries. This is specifically in the area surrounding Singapore, where countries are interested in fighting piracy, chasing smugglers, and pure search and rescue. There are demands but nothing totally firm in terms of discussions.”
The company has already had some success selling MSAs in the region. In 2015, Dassault and partners L-3 Platform Integration and Thales won an MSA competition with the Japan Coast Guard.
Cirium Fleets Analyzer indicates that the service has five Falcon 2000 MSAs on order, with deliveries to run from June 2019 to March 2021. Jacob says that this number could potentially grow to a sixth example and beyond.