Analyst believes NetJets has canceled G150 order

 - December 6, 2006, 10:55 AM

Bloomberg News reported on November 14 that, according to J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Joseph Nadol, fractional provider NetJets might have canceled its order for as many as 100 Gulfstream G150s. “Gulfstream’s backlog of funded orders from NetJets declined by about $600 million during the third quarter, which suggests NetJets canceled its G150 order announced in September 2002,” said Nadol.

“We defer to our customers,” a Gulfstream spokesman told AIN. “NetJets is a valued customer of ours. It is the one who should be talking.” But it wasn’t at press time. A NetJets spokeswoman declined to comment.

Strong international demand helped lift Gulfstream’s backlog of funded aircraft orders to $6.5 billion as of October 1, from $6.3 billion at the end of the second quarter, Bloomberg reported. “Over the same period, the NetJets portion of the funded backlog fell 10 percentage points, [Gulfstream parent] General Dynamics said in a regulatory filing, without explaining the drop.”

An AIN check of the August 3 and November 2 quarterly 10-Q reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows the NetJets share of its funded aircraft backlog decreased to 12 percent at the end of the third quarter from 22 percent in the second quarter of this year, 35 percent in the second quarter of last year and from 32 percent in the third quarter of last year.

The September 2002 NetJets order was for 50 aircraft, with the option for 50 more, and had a potential value of $1.5 billion, Gulfstream said at the time. According to Gulfstream’s announcement then, deliveries were to start in 2005, with shipments expected to continue through 2010. That same announcement said the G150 would enter service in the second quarter of last year, but the aircraft did not receive FAA certification until November last year, and deliveries of the first customer airplanes did not start until this past August.

It wasn’t immediately clear if this delay or the change in its funded backlog at Gulfstream is connected with any change in the NetJets order status. The NetJets spokeswoman could not comment about whether deliveries on this order have started, but at press time the NetJets Web site did not list the G150 among available aircraft, and UBS Investment Research, a source of fractional aircraft data, does not list any G150s in the NetJets fleet in its latest report.