The Dassault Falcon 900LX. (Photo courtesy of Dassault Aviation)

Dassault Aviation Upbeat on Indonesia's Robust Growth, New Private Jet Rule

BY :TABITA DIELA

APRIL 03, 2017

Jakarta. Dassault Aviation, the French aircraft manufacturer, is hopeful that Indonesia's robust growth, massive infrastructure development and more accommodating rules will boost sales for the company this year, its executive said on Friday (31/03).

"We have a list of potential buyers from Indonesia, both private owners and aircraft operators," Didier Raynard, Dassault Falcon's Southeast Asia and the Pacific head, told reporters. "We're hoping 2017-2018 will be good years for Dassault in Indonesia."

Raynard pointed to the government's 5.1 percent economic growth target this year as one of the causes of its optimism. The figure paints a much better picture compared to the 2.7 percent global economic growth projected by the World Bank.

Another development expected to help the company's business in Indonesia is a revised regulation from the Transport Ministry that now allows foreign-owned private jets to fly from one domestic airport to another.

According to Raynard, the global aviation business has been "challenging" to say the least in the past two years amid slow growth worldwide, slumping commodity prices and falling exchange rates against the US dollar for most Asian currencies.

The company did not sell any aircraft in Indonesia last year, but managed to sell four pre-owned aircraft to the region, including two for buyers in Malaysia, one in Thailand and one in Australia.

According to financial reports released on the Dassault Aviation website on March 8, the company only had 21 orders for its Falcon planes so far this year, down from 25 units at the same time last year.

The group delivered 49 Falcon units last year, compared to 55 in 2015. It expects to deliver 45 Falcon planes this year.

Dassault Aviation Group's adjusted net income reached 384 million euros ($409 million) last year, down around 20 percent from 482 million euros a year earlier.

The company blamed the sluggish market for new business aircraft, high inventory levels of used aircraft — which drove airplane prices down — and the engine-related delay in the delivery of Falcon 5x series for its falling profit.

"We are very hopeful about the future of the aviation businesseven if the market has been challenging in the past two years mainly due to the bad economic situation in Southeast Asia," Raynard said.

Bolstered by its optimism on Indonesia's robust economic growth, Dassault tried to woo local conglomerates and businessmen by showcasing its new jet at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in Jakarta last week.

Dassault invited the Jakarta Globe and other local media to see firsthand the interior of its Dassault Falcon 900LX aircraft.

The leather-clad interior is adjustable to contain up to 19 seats. It features two bathrooms and two separate cabins for passengers.

The latest model in the Dassault Falcon 900s family features aerodynamic technology and efficient trijet engine, allowing it top operate in short runways and hot airports. The plane also consumes about 15 percent less fuel compared to its competitors.

Raynard said most clients from Southeast Asia are "extremely sensitive" to cabin comfortability, while Dassault deputy chief pilot Olivier Perriaud said aircraft aficionados or trained pilots will soon find out that flying the 900LX feels as easy as "playing the Gameboy." Perriaud himself was on board the plane last week.

The Dassault Falcon 900LX carries a price tag of $41 million. It takes between six months to two years from booking to delivery, depending on the configuration.

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