“When you consider today’s market realities, we’re doing relatively well,” says Gulfstream President Joe Lombardo. “Our new product development programs for the Gulfstream G650 and G250 are on track. Our flight-test aircraft are performing to expectations. Our large-cabin production rates have remained stable, due, in part, to the strength of faster-growing international regions mitigating slower growth in the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, our product support business is experiencing healthy growth.”
Gulfstream will produce 97 aircraft this year. That number includes 76 large-cabin and 21 mid-cabin aircraft. “We’re seeing renewed interest in the mid-cabin planes, even though this segment has suffered more overall in the current market environment. Fortunately, we have been able to proactively manage our business to respond to market realities. This has allowed us to remain financially strong during very tough economic times,” Lombardo said. “That and the support of our parent company, General Dynamics, have allowed us to undertake a well-planned and quite active R&D effort. As a result, we will have two new products, the G650 and G250, entering the market over the next two years, and we expect a recovering economy to buoy demand for them.”
Lombardo addressed the evolving global market, while underscoring the importance of Gulfstream’s North American current and prospective clientele. “We’ve been impressed as we visit customers and prospects in emerging markets. They are embracing business aviation. They understand the value it provides in enabling them to grow their businesses both domestically and internationally. Our challenge is to remain adaptive in order to support a more globalized fleet. That means putting technical assistance and other resources closer to customers.”
Lombardo noted that the share of the Gulfstream fleet outside the U.S. has grown from 17 percent to 29 percent in the last decade, and that the fleet has increased by about 90 percent to more than 1,900 aircraft during that time. “Our product support organization has grown right along with the fleet and today we have the largest product support organization in the industry with more than 3,300 talented people working on behalf of our customers and more than .2 billion in spares located around the world,” he said.