Business Aviation Market Intelligence

Dassault’s Asia Pacific Strategy

Dassault’s Asia Pacific Strategy
Dassault Aviation

When it comes to opening new markets in Asia, Romain Salon is one of Dassault Aviation’s secret weapons. No, he’s not the company’s top exec in the region. That’s Jean-Michel Jacob, President of Dassault Falcon Asia Pacific. Salon is an ExecuJet MRO Services Manager, highly experienced on Dassault products.

Dassault owns ExecuJet MRO Services, with its 13 factory service centers stretching from Brussels to Brisbane, with a major presence in the Asia Pacific region.

Salon dispatched his first tech rep in Hanoi to support the delivery of a new Falcon 2000LXS, the first Falcon registered in Vietnam way back in 2020. He has become an indispensable resource for the country’s Falcon operators. At the moment, that’s two operators with five jets.

However, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Vietnam could be the world’s 10th largest economy by 2050, which suggests a substantial growth opportunity for business aviation. Dassault is investing for the long term with on-site expertise from Séailles and a second tech rep, Benjamin Anger who moved in-country last year.

When more than line service is required, or when spares are needed, or on-site maintenance coordination, the two experts can count on support from ExecuJet MRO Services in Kuala Lumpur, which has become a major regional support hub for Dassault. ExecuJet will open the doors of a new and upgraded service center there next year. It is sized for the largest Falcons, the 6X and 10X and includes the latest in sustainability improvements like a rooftop full of solar panels.

For Dassault, the business of selling its new business jets is inextricably linked with having a strong network of factory service centers across the region.

Dassault’s Asia Pacific network is arguably the strongest in business aviation.”

It just opened a new service center in Dubai that can service up to 20 aircraft at once. It supports Falcons in the Middle East and beyond, able to attract business equally from Europe or Asia. Tianjin, China has an ExecuJet MRO Services factory authorized service center, as well as Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. Brisbane, Auckland, and Wellington have ExecuJet MRO Services line stations. In India, Dassault has three authorized service stations, two in Mumbai and one in New Delhi.

“The bottom line,” says Jacob, “is that Falcon operators can reach our service facilities easily and we can dispatch parts and expert personnel to them quickly, as well. Jacob, himself, relocated from Hong Kong to KL, because, well, what better way to interact with customers than with an office at one of the region’s largest service centers.

“Real visibility comes not from a sales call or appearing at a trade show, but from a service center—a very tangible sign of a company’s commitment to the region,” he said. That commitment from Dassault has increased in recent years.

Throughout the 20th century, Dassault expanded its major maintenance centers in Europe and the US. As markets expanded eastward, customers in China or Australia would bring their aircraft to Paris or elsewhere in the West for major inspections. In the 2010’s, the company concluded it needed to expand its global service footprint. In 2019, it doubled the size of its factory service center with three large acquisitions.

TAG Aviation, with major bases in Switzerland and the UK, was purchased along with the business jet operations of the Swiss MRO company RUAG. These have been combined and rebranded as Dassault Aviation Business Services.

ExecuJet MRO Services was acquired from ExecuJet Aviation (which retained its FBO network) at about the same time. The full network now includes 40 factory service centers, 21 authorized service centers and 15 parts distribution centers.

Dassault’s first order of business was to harmonize standards and services across the expanded global network. And to upgrade capabilities. Soon service centers in Australia and Malaysia were performing C checks (major inspections accomplished at six- or eight-year intervals), initially with help and guidance from experts dispatched from Dassault’s European bases.

As the global network became fully integrated with Dassault’s engineering organization and Dassault’s three 24/7 maintenance Command Centers, the building campaign began. Dubai and Kuala Lumpur are the first beneficiaries of larger, state-of-theart service centers. The next to open will be a new flagship US facility in Melbourne, Florida in 2025.

Traditionally, Dassault has prided itself on its high-tech jets with exquisite, hand-crafted interiors that represent the best of French style. Now it has built an enviable support network for them. “I certainly don’t think customers mind seeing me and my sales team,” says Jean-Michel. “But we don’t kid ourselves, either. When Romain Salon or one of his colleagues show up, that’s when the customer is especially pleased.”

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