Dassault Aviation will present its large cabin, long range Falcon 7X at the Africa Aerospace & Defence Expo, to be held in Gauteng, South Africa on 17-21 September 2014.
AAD is billed as the foremost exhibit of aviation technology on the African continent. More than a third of Africa’s business jets and some of its biggest operators are based in South Africa. And nearby Angola, along with Nigeria, is one of its fastest growing markets.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is an area of fast growth and industries such as mining, oil and gas and agriculture are booming which provides expanding demand for business aviation,” said Gilles Gautier, Vice President, Falcon Sales for Dassault Aviation. “Falcons, with their exceptional short field and hot-and-high performance and low operating economics, are ideal for the tough conditions and vast expanses of this market.”
Among their many advantages, Falcons can access challenging airports where competitors are unable to operate or can operate only with limited range. For example, all in-production Falcons are approved for operation at London City Airport – one of the world’s most restricted airports. Falcons are also exceptionally sturdy -a strong selling point in Africa, where the average age of business aircraft is higher than elsewhere.
These features have enabled Dassault to capture a commanding 33% share of the African market and a quarter of the large cabin segment. The popularity of the Falcon line is not limited to the business community: government users operate 30% of the Falcons on the continent.
Falcon sales and deliveries are led by the 5,950 nautical mile range Falcon 7X, the most flexible and popular of the large cabin business jets. Dassault recently celebrated the rollout of the 250th 7X – the fastest any Falcon jet has ever reached this milestone. The 7X is currently being certified to operate at Daocheng Yading airport in China’s Sichuan province, the world’s highest commercial airfield. Earlier this year the airplane set a new Mach 0.88 cruise speed record between Teterboro, New Jersey, near New York, and London City.
The newly introduced very large cabin Falcon 5X and ultra long range Falcon 8X are expected to further boost African demand. The twin-engine 5X will feature the highest and widest cabin in business aviation. The 6,450 nm 8X, an extended version of the 7X featuring an unparalleled selection of cabin configurations will enable customers to fly non-stop from Cape Town to London or Johannesburg to Moscow while benefiting from the outstanding operating economy and flexibility offered by the 7X.