Gulfstream has delivered the first fully outfitted G650ER months ahead of schedule and says it hopes to handover the first all-new ultra-long-range business jet before the end of the year. The airframer originally planned to start shipments in 2015.
“It’s a good day when you can deliver on your promises ahead of schedule,” says Gulfstream president Larry Flynn.
The handover to an undisclosed customer comes a month after the US Federal Aviation Administration certificated the extended-range version of its $64.5 million G650, which entered service two years ago – and six months after Gulfstream unveiled the longest-legged in-production business jet.
As passenger demand for air travel across all segments continues to increase, air traffic is sure to pick up dramatically by 2033. Global market forecasts released by Airbus, Boeing and industry analysts at Deloitte Aerospace and Defense predict air traffic will grow at nearly 5 percent annually due to a healthy up-tick in the world economy over the next two decades.
“Global Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) are expected to grow at about 4.5 to 5 percent per year, which is a little bit above the historic norm,” said Deloitte Global and U.S. Aerospace and Defense Leader Tom Captain in an interview with Avionics Magazine. “But that can be explained because of the wealth-creating economies in parts of the world that haven’t had a history of air travel.”
Global business aviation activity saw modest gains in the third quarter of 2014 with 2 percent growth quarter-over-quarter and 2.2 percent growth year-over-year, according to Jet Support Services Inc.’s (JSSI) most recent Business Aviation Index report. JSSI, a provider of maintenance support and financial services to the business aviation industry, tracks the number of hours that business aircraft have flown by region, industry and aircraft type and releases all related data on a quarterly basis.