Interview with the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation
As this interview is taking place, the most significant development is obviously the conflict in Ukraine. In addition to being a humanitarian catastrophe, this war is also a historical tragedy that forces us to face up to fundamental truths - as Charles de Gaulle once said, “National defense is the primary raison d’être of the state.” Certain Europeans had forgotten this fact. For its part, Dassault Aviation has always been committed to serving the French armed forces. We are scrupulously applying the sanctions decided by the international community, and we are diversifying our purchasing, particularly with regard to strategic materials.
The concerns and uncertainties generated by the return of war to European soil have overshadowed the health crisis. Moreover, although Covid continued to be a concern in 2021, the response to the pandemic was more effective, in particular thanks to extensive vaccination campaigns. The severe depression of 2020 has thus given way to a massive, if uneven, global economic recovery: some industries remain in difficulty, commodity and energy prices have risen sharply, and shortages of labour and electronic components have emerged.
In Europe and the United States, inflation has risen to a level not seen in decades, leading to social tensions and higher interest rates. As for the French aerospace industry, the support measures put in place by the government and the industry itself have proved effective. The major manufacturers have held up well, and the supply chain remains operational, albeit in need of consolidation.