Gulfstream Aerospace has joined other major manufacturers of business jets that are planning another round of layoffs and production cutbacks this year in the face of the slowing economy. “Possible military action in the Middle East and unrest in the Asia Pacific area have exacerbated the [economic] downturn,” Gulfstream said on the eve of the U.S. decision to go to war with Iraq last month.
Gulfstream Aerospace agreed to pay $2.1 million to 61 former employees–none of them company pilots–in an age-bias settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but denied that it “engaged in any discrimination based on age, or committed any other violation.” In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged the Savannah, Ga. manufacturer targeted employees 40 years of age or older during a spate of layoffs in 2000.
Since receiving FAA certification in December 1996, some 168 GVs have gone into service, 13 of them in Europe, but it wasn’t until October 31 last year that the Gulfstream V received its stamp of approval from the JAA. In a letter
Gulfstream rolled out its 500th and last Gulfstream IV early last month, but just as Mark Twain said, “Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.” Although more than 3,000 Gulfstream employees, suppliers and guests gathered at the company’s facilities in Savannah, Ga., to witness N499GA (S/N 1499) being towed from the production hangar, the lineage will continue as the mid-range Gulfstream G300 and the long-range G400.
Gulfstream Aerospace GIV, Sugar Land, Texas, Nov. 11, 2007–When the GIV touched down at the Sugar Land Regional Airport, the nosegear collapsed, substantially damaging the jet. The pilot told investigators, “When the nosewheels touched down, a violent vibration or shaking was felt, full back force was applied to the control yoke and the vibration eased until the aircraft slowed further and the vibration returned.”
Some feel that the rise in publicly owned aviation companies managed by MBAs has resulted in a decline in personal service.
Deliveries of turbine business aircraft in the first half of this year were up slightly, reflecting a stagnant U.S. economy. Total deliveries, which had jumped from 397 in the first half of 1999 to 502 in the same period last year, showed a smaller gain this year (14 percent vs 26 percent), with 572 deliveries in the first half. Part of the gain can be attributed to Piper’s re-entry into the turbine fold.
Although Gulfstream Aerospace has repeatedly denied speculation that it is working on a G600, thought to be a composite-fuselage, long-range widebody business twinjet, last month’s announcement of four new directors at the Savannah, Ga. headquarters hints that the company is looking at new design elements.
Air China Business Jet will launch its planned charter service with a Gulfstream IV, the first large-cabin Gulfstream to be based in China. The aircraft was officially delivered to Air China representatives at last month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The aircraft is being provided under an initial minimum one-year lease, which also gives Air China the option to purchase a new G200, G300 or G400 before the lease expires.
Bill Boisture, who resigned suddenly in April as president of Gulfstream Aerospace, has been on the job for the last 30 days as president of NetJets. He joined the Woodbridge, N.J.-based fractional-ownership operator early last month and is directing the company’s North American operations out of Columbus, Ohio.