Year to date, Gulfstream Aerospace has logged more sales from customers outside the U.S. than inside, 66 versus 62, according to Joe Lombardo, Gulfstream president. By comparison, total Gulfstream orders for all of last year were 92 domestic and 67 international, and in 2004 they were 75 domestic and just 22 international.
Lombardo, who just returned on Saturday from a trip to Russia, with Pres Henne, senior vice president of programs, engineering and test, and Raynor Reavis, senior vice president of marketing and sales, said this increase in international sales is due primarily to the expanding worldwide economy and the dollar-to-euro exchange rate. More specifically for Gulfstream, it is due to the G550, which he said meets the mission requirements of many international companies now buying business jets.
Last year’s total orders of 159 represent the highest number Gulfstream has ever had and Lombardo said the company is on track to top this number this year.
While development of new models is obviously taking place, Gulfstream continues to improve its current product line, as well as its service and support capabilities, many of the changes distilled from suggestions from its Customer Advisory Board. “Service sells airplanes,” said Larry Flynn, president of Gulfstream Product Support, and not just service of Gulfstream aircraft. “We have the largest company-owned product support network in the business aviation,” he claimed. Of the 11,600 aircraft Gulfstream serviced last year (generating more than $560 million in revenue), 4,713 were non-Gulfstream aircraft. Servicing competitors’ aircraft, he said, “allows us to get to know the customer and show them what we do. And it helps us sell them Gulfstreams.” No one can argue about the quality of Gulfstream’s product support, as the company has been rated first in support for the last five years
in Aviation International News’ annual product support survey.
Though the list of product improvements is long, Henne is clearly proud of the developments in cockpit avionics, particular to HUD, enhanced vision and synthetic vision on the primary flight display. He showed a video of a system showing EVS and SV-PFD to the pilot and the view through the windscreen and SV-PFD to the copilot on an approach to Port Angeles, Wash. Gulfstream expects SV-PFD to be certified for its large-cabin aircraft later this year.