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Dassault Falcon Jet to Trim About 6 Percent of Workforce

2 min read

Dassault Falcon Jet on Friday confirmed a companywide workforce reduction amid what its CEO called “challenging” market conditions for the aviation industry.

In a statement, the French company said it had instituted “a less than” 6 percent reduction to its workforce, which includes its Little Rock completion center. The operation, which finishes out the firm’s line of 8X and 5X jets, employed about 2,000 workers as of fall 2015.

Dassault Falcon Jet is part of Dassault Aviation SA of Paris, which has more than 11,000 workers worldwide.

The move comes on the heels of an early-out program, a reduction in contractors and program that moved certain manufacturing, previously subcontracted, back in-house, the company said.

“The current business aviation market conditions remain challenging throughout our entire industry,” John Rosanvallon, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement provided to Arkansas Business. “This is caused by worldwide economic and political uncertainty combined with a prolonged imbalance between supply and demand for new aircraft as well as a large inventory of pre-owned aircraft competing with new sales. 

“In this very challenging environment, Dassault has made adjustments to the Falcon production schedule that make it necessary to reduce the number of employees.”

Dassault’s Little Rock center is located at Adams Field, where it’s spent the last few years adding capacity to handle some of its newest aircraft, the Falcon 5X twin jet, introduced in 2013, and the ultra-long range Falcon 8X tri-jet, introduced in 2014.

In November 2015, it unveiled a $60 million, 250,000-SF expansion of the facility, bringing the company’s total Little Rock footprint to 1.25 million SF. 

The expansion followed a $20 million, 116,000-SF upgrade in 2008 that added four new state-of-the-art paint bays, along with new production, design and warehouse space.

The history of the Little Rock facility dates to 1975 when Falcon Jet Corp. – then a Dassault Aviation/Pan American Airways joint venture – purchased Little Rock Airmotive, a 61,500-SF hangar and office facility, and integrated it into its global production line.

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