Taylor Swift's jet maker, Dassault, wants a fleet customer

NetJets, Flexjet and at least two other fleet operators are in the target of Dassault for its Falcon 6X and 10X.

By Doug Gollan, May 27, 2024

During a press conference this morning at the European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, a top official from Dassault Aviation said the company is continuing its aim to win fleet orders, likely from a fractional private jet operator.

The French OEMs CEO Eric Trappier tells Private Jet Card Comparisons that there are ongoing conversations with NetJets, Flexjet, and at least two other operators who could add the Falcon 6X or 10X to their fleets.

Despite NetJets announcing options and orders for nearly 2,000 new private jets from Textron Aviation, Embraer, and Bombardier over the past year, Trappier says his OEM’s latest aircraft are still in the running for an order from the world’s largest private jet operator.

Both new entrants from Dassault are large cabin jets.

The Falcon 6X can seat 12 to 16 passengers with a range of 5,500 nautical miles.

Its cabin is 6 feet 6 inches high and 8 feet 6 inches wide.

The 6X was announced in 2017 and was certified by U.S. and European authorities in late 2023, with deliveries to customers following suit.

The Falcon 10X is expected to see deliveries in 2027 with space for up to 19 passengers and a range of 7,500 nautical miles.

It will have a cabin height of 6 feet 8 inches and a width of just over 9 feet.

The Falcon 10X’s Master Suite will feature a full-size queen bed.

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NetJets and Flexjet

Dassault’s last significant fleet order was from NetJets in 2008. Back then, the Berkshire Hathaway unit added to its previous Falcon 2000 order.

Approximately a dozen are still in service with NetJets Europe.

NetJets had also ordered up to 24 Falcon 7Xs; however, only a few of the type entered its European fleet before they were withdrawn.

As of April, NetJets operated 68 Bombardier Global 5000/5500/6000/7500s.

It is the launch fleet customer for the Global 8000.

Flexjet currently has the Gulfstream G650 and G450 in its large cabin fractional offering.

Last Fall, its Chairman, Kenn Ricci, teased a pending fleet order.

“There are customers (for the fractional operators) who prefer the Falcon, so we believe it makes sense for them to offer it,” Trappier said.

Taylor Swift currently owns a Falcon 7X.

She is a long-time Falcon owner, although she uses VistaJet’s Global fleet for supplemental lift.

Nearly 20% of Private Jet Card Comparisons members who own their own jets or use corporate jets have fractional shares as well.

Like Swift, about 60% of jet owners also have jet cards.

In 2022, French billionaire and Louis Vuitton owner Bernard Arnault made news when he sold his private jet to avoid flight trackers.

Last week, Swift’s private jet usage was again in the news.

BBC commentator Chris Packham bizarrely attacked her use of business aviation as part of the singer’s global Eras tour.

Trappier declined to mention the names of the other operators Dassault is in discussions with.

Pan Am, United, and Dassault

Dassault launched into private aviation 51 years ago, helped by a large order from Pan American World Airways.

According to The New York Times, Dassault modified its Mystere 20. Pan Am rebranded it as the Fan Jet Falcon with an order for 40 and options for 120 more.

Pan Am would also act as a sales agent. The eight-seat jet was being marketed for $995,000, including pilot training.

The 6X retails for around $56 million per Flying magazine.

Circa 2000, United Airlines ordered 46 Falcon 2000s and 76 Falcon options for Avolar, a new private jet division.

However, the unit was shuttered before it could take off.

Last year, Delta Air Lines led an investor group that pumped $500 million into Wheels Up.

The airline’s CEO, Ed Bastian, has repeatedly stated that he believes private aviation is integral to Delta’s strategy for winning a larger share of premium travel from UHNWs and corporations.

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