Gulfstream 3Q Deliveries Find Post-Covid Foothold

 - October 28, 2020, 12:48 PM
Demand for the G650 remains strong, according to Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream Aerospace parent General Dynamics. She also said the ultra-long-range model accounts for the biggest share of the 25 large-cabin jets that Gulfstream handed over in the third quarter. (Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace)

Third-quarter aircraft deliveries at Gulfstream Aerospace continued to edge closer to pre-Covid levels, but were still down 15.8 percent from a year ago, parent company General Dynamics announced today. The Savannah, Georgia-based business jet manufacturer handed over 32 aircraft (seven midsize G280s and 25 large-cabin jets) in the quarter versus 38 (nine G280s and 29 large cabins) in the same period a year ago.

In the first nine months, Gulfstream shipped 87 jets (16 G280s and 71 large cabins), compared with 103 (24 G280s and 79 large cabins) in the same period last year. General Dynamics chair and CEO Phebe Novakovic indicated that Gulfstream is expected to deliver 130 aircraft in 2020, which would put fourth-quarter shipments at 43 units—pretty much on par from the 44 handed over in the final quarter a year ago.

Though she noted that business jet demand is a bit weaker in the U.S.—due to the economy, uncertain election outcome, and pandemic-related travel restrictions—book-to-bill in the quarter was 0.92:1 thanks to better demand from international customers. Novakovic said G650 deliveries and sales remain strong, with the model making up the biggest share of large-cabin shipments in the third quarter.

She added that deliveries will be somewhat lower in 2021 due to G550 production ending and fewer expected G280 shipments. However, she anticipates demand picking up as the pandemic wanes, so Gulfstream could bump up large-cabin production next year if that scenario plays out.