Gulfstream has a fleet of over 100 business aircraft owned and operated in the Arabian Gulf region, with both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) representing strong customer basses in the large-cabin market. “Both of them take the lion’s share of the airplanes,” Trevor Esling, Gulfstream’s regional senior vice president, international sales, Europe, Middle East and Africa told AIN at Abu Dhabi’s Air Expo show today. “The [Gulf region] fleet is somewhere in excess of 100 aircraft. From our numbers, we have around 55 percent of the large cabin market here. It’s always been a strong Gulfstream market, particularly in both those territories.”
The U.S. airframer has found the Middle East to be fertile territory for sales of its new G650 large-cabin, long-range aircraft. “Both Saudi Arabia and UAE been big adopters of the 650, and they already have large numbers of [our] airplanes here in the region,” said Esling. “We have quite a number of orders and we’ll deliver them in the next two years.”
According to Esling, Gulfstream had enjoyed success in selling aircraft to heads of state, high-net-worth individuals, private companies and private customers. “The majority of business here is in the large cabin market—the 450, 550 and 650—that’s where we concentrate most of our efforts. That market remains pretty strong,” said Esling. “We don’t have a whole lot of airplanes in the charter market here in the Middle East or in fact in Western Europe. Gulfstreams tend to be much more of a private aeroplane than a charter aircraft. Obviously they are available, but not in the same numbers as some of our competitors. There’s no G650 available [for charter] in the whole of Europe, Middle East and Africa. They are all privately owned.”
At the Air Expo show, Gulfstream displayed its G550 model.