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Dassault Aviation keen to expand into Malaysia’s business jet segment

26th March, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation plans to further strengthen its presence in Malaysia, particularly in the business jet segment, due to evolving demand from the business community as well as the recent acquisition of a local maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider.

Dassault Aviation Asia Pacific President Jean-Michel Jacob said, the country offers tremendous possibility for the company to grow the business jet segment due to the numbers of Malaysian companies exporting overseas as well as operating in global markets.

“The need for direct air services and to maximise time by the business community would be the drivers for us in the segment, and on top of that, the acquisition of Execujet Malaysia Sdn Bhd complements our aim to grow in this country as well as the region,” he said in a media briefing on Monday.

He noted that the total business jet fleet in Malaysia is around 60 aircraft.

“Ten aircraft are Dassaults, and the rest are from other manufacturers, and we are also expected to deliver 120 aircraft in the Asia Pacific, of which 12 will be delivered this year,” he explained.

Commenting on the MRO business, Jacob added that Execujet’s plant in Subang would support its business growth while the Malaysian government’s identification of the aerospace industry as a highly potential field has boosted Dassault Aviation’s confidence in the local market.

Commenting on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remark on retaliatory measures against the palm oil ban by the European Union, which could see Malaysia switching to China’s fighter jets instead of from European companies, Jacob said it is a government-to-government issue.

“I will not comment on the political matter,” he said.

Malaysia is reportedly considering purchasing 18 Rafale aircraft from France worth about RM8.25 billion as the country looks to replace its Russian Mig-29 fighters, some of which are not working.

Meanwhile, Execujet Malaysia general manager Ivan Lim said the company would speed up its expansion plan to accommodate the Falcon family, which consists of the Falcon 6X, Falcon 7X, Falcon 8X, Falcon 900LX, Falcon 2000LXS and Falcon 2000S.

“We will add line maintenance capabilities by year-end for selected Dassault types namely the 8X, 7X and 2000, while other models will be added in stages,” he said, adding the company currently handles between 30 to 35 aircraft on a monthly basis.

Lim further explained that the company currently services two brands of aircraft—the Bombardier and Gulfstream. Execujet is the largest business aviation MRO in Malaysia, operating on a 64,000 square foot facility in the vicinity of Subang airport.

“We plan to expand the facility to 150,000 square foot including a hangar, office and workshops, and looking at monthly MRO services for between 45 to 50 aircraft next year after the completion of the expansion,” he added. The acquisition of ExecuJet’s MRO business is part of Dassault Aviation’s global commitment to further reinforce and expand its already strong customer support network, and the acquisition is the first Dassault-owned MRO in Asia. –Bernama

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