Resembling a turbine engine, the pre-owned market in the first quarter of last year sucked wind. What a difference a year makes. All of a sudden everyone needs a corporate jet, demand that is pushing inventory levels of pre-owned stock lower and delivery dates of many new aircraft out farther. There are about 50 fewer aircraft available today than there were this time last year.
Gulfstream’s first-quarter operating earnings and margins improved from the same period last year. Business jet deliveries increased for the second consecutive quarter–to 17 in the first quarter compared with 15 in the first three months of last year. Gulfstream projects delivering 53 to 55 “large” aircraft (G300 through G550) this year, compared with 50 last year.
The one unmistakable message that came out of this year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) is that business aviation in Asia is no longer merely a talking point. While the region still faces challenges, there is progress on every front and aircraft are moving passengers throughout the region in unprecedented numbers.
Despite the long range they’re capable of, the G550 and G500 might be making many more short hops than long-distance flights. According to Gulfstream, the worldwide G550/500 fleet recently logged its 100,000th flight hour, along with 40,000 takeoff and landing cycles, since the model’s debut in 2003. Despite their nonstop range of approximately 6,000 nm, the jets aren’t generally up for long, averaging just 2.5 hours per flight.
Gulfstream’s third-quarter results show double-digit improvements in net sales (14.3 percent) and operating earnings (34.3 percent), as well as an increase in backlog and a marked jump in aircraft deliveries, compared with the same nine-month period last year.
General Dynamics (GD) announced this morning that on April 9, Joseph Lombardo will become executive v-p of its aerospace business group and president of subsidiary Gulfstream Aerospace. He will succeed Bryan Moss. Lombardo, 58, has been Gulfstream’s COO since 2001. Moss, 66, who has been Gulfstream president since 2003, will become president emeritus of Gulfstream, a new position.
NetJets Europe (NJE) sold shares in 18 complete aircraft last year, representing an 80-percent increase in sales over 2003. By the end of last year the European fractional ownership program’s fleet consisted of 58 aircraft. That number is set to grow to 91, with 33 deliveries scheduled for this year.
The Gulfstream G150, which the Savannah, Ga.-based company describes as the first wide-cabin, long-range, midsize business jet, rolled out January 18 in el Aviv before hundreds of employees of Israel Aircraft Industries, which is producing the G150 at its plant on Ben Gurion International Airport.
Latin America’s business jet fleet has seen modest growth over the past 12 months, but it has still not achieved any substantial increase over the past decade. As of December 31 last year there were a total of 907 jet-powered business aircraft registered in 15 Latin American countries monitored by aviation consulting group Airclaims–up by slightly less than 5 percent from the 2003 total of 868.
Gulfstream is reportedly preparing a new model to succeed the G300, reliable industry sources have informed AIN. Expected to be introduced during the first quarter of this year (possibly late this month at the Singapore show), the new model would apparently take the place of the current G300 in Gulfstream’s production lineup.