Do a Google search for Warren Buffett quotes and you’ll find a slew of them about ignoring ups and downs in the market, buying quality companies and holding for the long term. For example: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
That’s why they call him the Oracle of Omaha.
In early 2019, Dassault made some major acquisitions, expanding our global maintenance network with the acquisition of blue-chip MROs: ExecuJet MRO Services,TAG Maintenance Services and RUAG. We added 17 factory-owned facilities and more than 1,000 service professionals.
We acquired these companies not strictly on an ROI basis, but because they positioned us to provide exceptional service to our global customers well into the future.
Our network now includes more than 55 service centers, including authorized facilities, and 16 spares distribution facilities, highlighted by a new distribution hub recently built near Charles de Gaulle Airport with inventory of more than $450 million (US).
We all know what happened in early 2020. The world’s flying hours were sharply curtailed, and of course this had a ripple effect for scheduled and even unscheduled maintenance.
So, our market timing wasn’t great, but our acquisitions were very much in the Buffett mold. We have built a service network that will pay dividends for our operators for as long as they own Falcon aircraft. In other words—they’ll provide a lot of shade.
Now we’re knitting this network more closely together to provide uniformly great service worldwide. For example, we’ve created a single commercial team to give customers a streamlined, single point of access anywhere in our network.
STCs, modifications and upgrades are readily available at any Dassault-owned facility. And we’re constantly adding certifications around the world. For example, as I write this, ExecuJet MRO Services in both Malaysia and Perth, Australia, are performing C checks on a Falcon 2000LXS and an F900EX respectively. Meanwhile, our Go Teams are closer than ever.
In the U.S., we’re adding capacity in our Reno, Nevada facility. And we’re already stocking parts for the Falcon 6X, which will be certified in 2022. It’s all part of the long-term thinking that has helped Dassault surge to the top of customer service rankings.
Warren, by the way, is not the only Buffett who knows a good investment. Jimmy Buffett has been a long-term Dassault investor, first with a Falcon 900B and now a 7X.
Herewith a bit of wisdom from the other Buffett: “If you’re gonna fly without fear, you’re gonna have to learn to love the atmosphere.”
Wishing you many wonderful hours in the air in 2021.
Senior Vice President, Worldwide Falcon Customer Service & Service Center Network