Gulfstream Aerospace has come to MEBA 2012 on the crest of a wave with deliveries of 104 “green” large-cabin jets forecast by the end of the year. The company has brought a G450 and G550 to the static display at MEBA this week, but was unable to fly a G650 or the new G280 to Dubai because it is focusing on delivering these new jets to customers.
The absence of the G650 is unlikely to dent its popularity. According to Scott Neal, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Savannah, Ga.-based airframer, the ultra long-range and large-cabin G650 is generating strong interest in the Middle East, a region where large-cabin Gulfstream jets have long been popular. Meanwhile in the Middle East and Africa, the overall number of Gulfstream jets has increased to 134 from 77 jets in the past nine years.
“We’ll get the G650 on the road soon,” Neal said at MEBA yesterday, adding that plans call for a G650 world tour starting in February. “The G650 has gained wide acceptance in the Middle East,” Neal maintained, with the first customer G650 in the region expected to enter service within the next 12 months. Although Gulfstream had previously forecast delivery of 17 G650s by year-end, Neal said, “We’ll be somewhat under that by the end of the year.”