Jay Johnson, the new president and CEO of Gulfstream parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday during an investor conference that he is “encouraged right now” about the “gradually improving” business jet market. As proof, he noted that Gulfstream fleet flying hours are increasing and new order interest is improving.
Israel’s Elbit showed the latest member of its UAV family for the first time at the Paris Air Show in June. The Hermes 90 has an 85-kilogram mtow, of which 25 kilograms can be sensor payload. It can be operated by a crew of two, who can turn it round between missions in about 15 minutes. Endurance is over 18 hours at an altitude of 15,000 feet.
Gulfstream Aerospace has instituted a two-year parts warranty program. “In light of the economy and our ongoing commitment to create value for Gulfstream customers, we’re implementing a program that will allow our operators to reduce their costs,” said Mark Burns, president of product support at Gulfstream.
General Dynamics Aviation Services (GDAS) plans to shutter its facility located at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) at the end of this month. The closure affects about 70 employees.
“We have issued warn notices to our employees in Minneapolis. We deeply regret that good, loyal, competent people are being affected through no fault of their own,” said a Gulfstream Aerospace spokesman.
According to letters sent to the Texas Workforce Commission, Gulfstream Aerospace is laying off 219 Dallas-based employees. This comes on the heels of similar Warn letters sent earlier this month to the 70 employees of the General Dynamics Aviation Services (GDAS) facility in Minneapolis notifying them of its closure at the end of June.
Jet Aviation president Peter Edwards said it’s still too early “to call the market bottom,” but he pointed to positive signs emanating from nearly all corners of the industry as an indicator that perhaps the worst of the economic downturn is over.
Business aviation is currently facing numerous challenges, but Gulfstream officials speaking this week at EBACE remained upbeat. “I’ve been in this industry 30 years and I’ve seen many ups and downs,” said Gulfstream president Joe Lombardo, Gulfstream president and executive vice president of parent company General Dynamics. “February was a bad month for us, with a lot of order defaults occurring. But we’re now seeing some positive signs.
The aerospace division at General Dynamics, which includes Gulfstream and Jet Aviation, “held its own” in the first quarter, parent company chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja said yesterday during an investor conference call. “A noteworthy accomplishment, I think, in light of business market conditions.” As a whole, first-quarter revenues at General Dynamics rose to $18.3 billion, up 18 percent from the same period last year.
Less than 40 days ago, General Dynamics chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja said subsidiary Gulfstream was seeing demand for large-cabin jets hold strong, though he acknowledged that sales of its midsize jets had “dramatically softened.” At the time, Chabraja predicted that Gulfstream would deliver 94 large-cabin jets (seven more than last year) but would more than halve midsize shipments to “about 30.” Today his expectations met the reality of
Bucking the current economic tide, Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation parent company General Dynamics yesterday posted strong revenues and profits for 2008, thanks in no small part to its aerospace division. Overall the company posted $29.3 billion in revenues and $2.48 billion in profits last year, up from $27.2 billion and $2.1 billion in the respective previous periods.