This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Gulfstream Aerospace deliveries in the second quarter slightly outpaced those from the same period a year ago, but fell 15 percent in the first six months as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to stall international shipments, parent company General Dynamics announced today.
In the quarter, Gulfstream handed over 32 airplanes (six super-midsize G280s and 26 large-cabin jets) versus 31 (eight G280s and 23 large jets) a year ago. For the first six months, it shipped 55 aircraft (nine G280s and 46 large jets), down from 65 (15 G280s and 50 large jets) in the same period of 2019. According to General Dynamics chairman and CEO Phebe Novakovic, Gulfstream will meet projected deliveries of between 125 and 130 jets, which it downgraded three months ago from 150 units due to the Covid-19 crisis.
While she said interest in Gulfstreams remains steady, sales activity was “difficult” in the second quarter due to the inability to travel and demonstrate aircraft to customers. “It’s impossible to sell—everything has to be done over the telephone due to travel restrictions,” Novakovic lamented during the company’s second-quarter investor call.
This led to a 0.54:1 book-to-bill ratio in the second quarter, which she deemed fairly good given the current challenges. Novakovic is more optimistic about sales in the second half of the year, especially if the pandemic comes under better control and travel restrictions further lift.
“The second quarter was the low point of the year for Gulfstream,” she added. “We entered the pandemic in a strong position and expect to emerge from it even stronger.”