Gulfstream Sees 'Encouraging' Activity in Bizjet Market
“There’s a fair amount of caution out there, but we're seeing steady activity at our aerospace division, which consists of Gulfstream and Jet Aviation,” Jay Johnson, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream and Jet Aviation parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday at the Morgan Stanley Global Industrials Unplugged Conference. Backlog for current-production large-cabin Gulfstreams is “about where we want to be” at 18 months, he noted. There are also orders for about 200 G650s, which won’t start being delivered until 2012. Johnson said the midsize business jet market is “beginning to stabilize,” though added, “It’s not where it needs to be or where it will be, but we're seeing order book activity for mid-cabin Gulfstreams at modest but encouraging levels.” Meanwhile, he said the G650 and G250 test programs are proceeding on track: “Significantly, both aircraft are performing in test exactly as predicted.” The super-midsize G250 and wide-cabin G650 are expected to be certified next year, and G250 deliveries will start “in 2011.” Johnson said that Gulfstream plans to deliver 17 G650s in 2012 and 33 each in 2013 and 2014–a quick ramp-up that he says can be done thanks to the aircraft’s lower parts count and use of new metal bonding techniques. No production schedule was given for the G250.