Unveiled earlier this year, the Gulfstream G500 and G600 look set to deliver the greatest capabilities yet and straight into the hands of the consumer with a growing need for speed over long distances. Business jets with longer range capabilities are in demand more and more as executive travellers expand their business circles in the hunt for the contracts.
The G650 is a luxury jet with a range of 7,000 nautical miles and with space for up to 18 passengers and a price tag set at $64.5m. The two new additions to the family share some of the characteristics of the G650, in terms of size and flight deck technology, but come with a smaller price tag of $54.5m with a range of 6,200nm for the G600 and for the G500, $43.5m with a range of 5,000nm.
Although the business aviation industry is showing some regrowth, after the economic meltdown left many corporations cutting costs, the longer-range jets are clearly still in favour and the focus for speed without costly refuelling stops is a definite plus for Gulfstream.
Gulfstream announced a big deal last month for up to 50 examples of the G500, G450 and G650 with Flexjet, the US fractional aircraft operator. This is also a sector of business aviation that is fast growing in popularity as costs and operating hours are shared, rather than the outright purchase with all the additional operational costs that inevitably go hand in hand with that.
Qatar Airways also committed to an order of up to 20 G500 and G650ER aircraft for its corporate charter fleet.