Business jet demand to stay resilient post-pandemic, says Dassault Aviation

SUBANG (July 8): Demand for private business jets, which soared as Covid-19 restrictions were imposed during the pandemic, is expected to stay resilient even as commercial airlines mount more flights as most countries in Asia-Pacific including Malaysia reopen their borders, according to French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation SA.

“I would say activities are extremely active in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in Southeast Asia (SEA) as more countries are opening up. Malaysia is one of the biggest business aviation markets in SEA, there are about 50-60 business jets based here, ”said its head for SEA and Pacific Didier Raynard.

Currently, about 110 Falcon business jets by Dassault are in service in the Asia-Pacific region, he told a media briefing on Friday (July 8) in conjunction with an aircraft viewing event for the company’s new Falcon 6X business jet.

However, he declined to reveal the number of Falcons in service in Malaysia as well as the backlog order for the aircraft here.

Raynard noted that even with border reopening by various countries since earlier this year, seat capacity by commercial airlines are still below the pre-pandemic level, with chartering demand remaining elevated.

Nevertheless, he expects demand for business aviation, especially from Dassault, will largely remain stable even after more commercial airlines ramp up their seat capacity. Its customers include corporations, governments, high net worth individuals and family businesses.

“They still need to travel. The [size] of the customer [base] who require these advantages from business aviation, like flexibility of landing at smaller airports, will largely remain the same, ”he said.

Raynard also said there is a trend of demand shift in the Asia-Pacific region over the past two to three years from North Asia to SEA and Australia, with Malaysia being one of the biggest markets.

To cater for elevated demand, he said Dassault is in the midst of expanding its maintenance, repair and overhaul operations here in Malaysia via its subsidiary ExecuJet Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Earlier, the company’s newest business jet – the Falcon 6X – landed at Subang Airport, for the first time in Asia. The aircraft, which is still in development and due to be certified next year, was doing a long-range proving flight to Malaysia as part of its certification.

The aircraft, fully equipped, is estimated to cost around US $ 57 million (about RM252.28 million) for 2025 delivery, but the actual price will be depending on customers’ requests and requirements to the aircraft such as cabin design materials and layout, said Raynard.

“The aircraft is coming here because Malaysia is a key market for Dassault Aviation civil aircraft and we see great potential for the Falcon 6X in Malaysia and the region,” he said, adding that it will have the largest cabin cross-section of any purpose. -built business jet.

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