Gulfstream Aerospace’s substantial investment in establishing China’s first factory-owned service center for business aircraft appears to be paying off as the U.S. airframer prepares to add support capability for its latest G650 and G280 models later this year.
Gulfstream Aerospace realigned its product support organization last week to “enhance the customer experience” and position the division for growth. Mark Burns remains president of Gulfstream Product Support.
Gulfstream Aerospace recently delivered the 300th outfitted G450, a milestone that comes nearly nine years after the twinjet entered service in May 2005. “The delivery…is a proud moment for Gulfstream because it demonstrates the reliability, performance and comfort the aircraft provides and reflects continuing interest from customers,” said Scott Neal, Gulfstream senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. “The G450 remains the market leader in its class.
Airbus Corporate Jets has appointed Benoit Defforge managing director. He will also maintain his previous role as head of the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC).
Bill Chiles, president and CEO of helicopter operator Bristow Group, announced he will retire at the end of July but will remain with the company in a consulting role for another two years. He will be replaced by senior v-p and CFO Jonathan Baliff.
Business has been so good at West Coast charter/management firm Jet Edge International that the company devised an unusual arrangement to build a fleet of Gulfstream G200s. With a fleet consisting of mostly large-cabin Gulfstreams, Jet Edge has seen growing demand for the super-midsize charter market, and the G200s (and one G280, with two more coming) are ideal to fill that need, according to president Bill Papariella.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank recently topped $1 billion in support of American-made business airplane and helicopter financings since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2012. In a deal that drove it past this milestone, the bank approved a guarantee of a $300 million loan extended by Apple Bank for Savings to Minsheng Financial Leasing Co. of Tianjin, China, to finance the purchase of eight business jets from Gulfstream Aerospace. At EBACE 2012, the Ex-Im Bank announced it would provide support for at least $1 billion in business airplane and helicopter financings by the end of 2014.
Gulfstream has a fleet of over 100 business aircraft owned and operated in the Arabian Gulf region, with both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) representing strong customer basses in the large-cabin market.
Jet Aviation Hong Kong recently received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to provide line and base maintenance for the Gulfstream G450 The MRO is a Gulfstream factory-authorized warranty service center for the G450/G550/G650. Jet Aviation Hong Kong offers line maintenance, inspections and defect rectifications, AOG support and has access to a 99,027-sq-ft hangar. The company holds Hong Kong CAD maintenance repair station approval, an FAA repair station certificate and mainland China JMM approval for PRC-registered aircraft.
Gulfstream Aerospace has established a four-year college scholarship for eligible seniors attending West Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) in Grand Rapids. WMAA is a tuition-free public charter high school that offers an aviation education, along with a “rigorous” academic curriculum.
Gulfstream will award a $60,000 scholarship to one WMAA graduating senior each year from 2014 to 2017, totaling $240,000. Students will be selected on the basis of financial need, academic performance and enrollment in an aviation-related degree path at an accredited higher education institution.
Arriving at a show without new speed record claims would be unthinkable for Gulfstream, and the airframer has not disappointed for this show with new achievements for its super midsize G280 and the ultra long-range G650.
The G650 flew from Hawaii to Singapore in 14 hours 6 minutes. For the 5,909 nm, the average Mach number was therefore 0.85.