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EBACE: Saudia Private Aviation takes a major step forward with Falcon 7X delivery
Saudia Private Aviation - the business aviation arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, took delivery this afternoon of the first of four Falcon 7X business jets from French manufacturer Dassault.
At a special ceremony at the European Business Aviation show at Geneva today, the first of the tri-jet Falcon 7X for Saudi Arabia was handed over. Two more aircraft are scheduled for delivery to SPA later this year and the final aircraft will come in 2011. The order was originally announced at the Dubai Air Show in 2007.
SPA will use the Falcon 7X for VIP charter flights within the Middle East and around the world. With a range of 5,950 nm, the aircraft can connect major cities, such as New York to Riyadh, Dubai to Tokyo, or Rio De Janeiro to Jeddah.
"It is a day of commemoration,” said Wajdi Abdullah Al-Idrissi, the Vice President Royal & VIP Affairs & Head of SPA. “The Falcon 7X was carefully chosen out of many options due to its excellent technical specifications and performance,” he said. “It is a unique plane that can fly nonstop for over 11 hours and does not require a long runway which saves valuable time by being able to land at lower traffic airports.” Al-Idrissi continued, "Though SPA was carved out of Saudi Arabian Airlines a year ago, our long experience spans more than 60 years in VIP aircraft chartering, leasing, management and consultation, and Ground Handling.” Discussing the Falcon 7X, Al-Idrissi said that this state-of-the-art aircraft is distinctive and matchless in its class and conforms to the high taste of their Royal and VIP clients.
“The Falcon 7X has been well received by customers in the Middle East for its advanced technology, its efficiency as well as its comfort,” said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon. “It is capable of meeting the most demanding requirements of passengers, especially on very long non-stop flights.”
Dassault has approximately 50 Falcons based in the region and expects this number to increase by almost 50% over the next three years. The rapid growth of the Falcon fleet in the area prompted Dassault to establish a new Falcon Spares Distribution Center in Dubai in 2008 in order to expedite and simplify the delivery process of Falcon spares. The regional inventory is now worth more than US $1.5 million. A sales office for the region was also opened in Dubai in the same year.
Dassault also plans to establish an additional Falcon Authorized Service Center in the region with Saudi Arabian Airlines in Jeddah. "Saudi Arabian Airlines is renowned for providing a high quality of service. Their technical experience in aviation maintenance will support not only the expanding Falcon fleet based in the Middle East but also Falcon operators that fly regularly between the Asia-Pacific region and Europe,” said Rosanvallon. “Saudi Arabian Airlines is one of the leading airlines providing maintenance services providers and is capable of offering first class solutions to our customers.”