| PARIS, March 19
PARIS, March 19 Royal Bank of Scotland and
Citigroup have cancelled orders for private jets for top
executives in the wake of the financial crash and a public
backlash over corporate perks, French planemaker Dassault
Aviation said on Thursday.
RBS (RBS.L) was bailed out by the British government late
last year and is mired in a row over a 16.6 million-pound ($23.7
million) pension pot for former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin.
RBS placed the order for a state-of-the-art Falcon 7X
business jet worth $40-45 million about five years ago, and the
plane was due to be delivered this year.
But the bank, now controlled by the UK government, cancelled
the order late last year, Dassault (AVMD.PA) civil aerospace
business head Olivier Villa told Reuters.
Asked whether the 19-seat plane, capable of flying from
London to Tokyo, was intended for Goodwin's use, Villa said he
did not know but assumed the aircraft was for the bank's "top
Citigroup (C.N) scrapped orders at around the same time for
three Falcon 7X jets, Villa added.
The business jet market has been severely hit by the
recession and negative publicity in the United States, Dassault
Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne told a news conference earlier,
adding that business jets still made economic sense.
"In the last three months there have been more cancellations
than orders," he said. "We have some of the most prestigious
clients. (Citigroup's) Citibank was one of them. RBS was
another. And, of course, they have cancelled."
For a news story on Dassault Aviation's 2008 results, double
click on [ID:nLJ194777]
(Editing by David Cowell)