Recovery of Dassault Falcon Jet Benefits Arkansas

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 12:00 am  

Little Rock’s Role

So how does Little Rock fit into Dassault’s business model?

It is one of the largest business jet completion centers in the world. The company has three other facilities in the U.S.: two service centers in Wilmington, Del., and Reno, Nev., and an administrative headquarters in Teterboro, N.J.

The company delivers mainly to corporate customers. The center completes four models of business jets: the Falcon 2000S, 2000LXS, 900LX and 7X. They differ chiefly by flight range, varying from 3,350 to 5,950 nautical miles.

“We have a 30 percent market share for large-cabin business jets,” Ajarrista said.

Dassault also completes military jets, including the unmanned nEUROn, the twin-engine Rafale fighter jet and, until 2007, the single-engine Mirage 2000 fighter.

Before the recession, the Little Rock location made sense because it was close to the majority of the company’s customers.

“Most of our customers were here, so we had to be as close as possible to them,” Ajarrista said.

But since its U.S. buyer base has dwindled, it now seems to make less sense for the completion center to be so distant from the company’s headquarters. Ajarrista, however, said a couple of factors are keeping completions in America.

U.S. labor, for one, is cheaper than France’s.

Secondly, the company prefers to use dollars, rather than euros, when it can. “We sell in dollars,” Ajarrista said. “So it’s important to keep a large part of our costs in dollars.”

He said much of the equipment that the company buys from third parties is also in dollars.



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