Gulfstream unveils two new business jets

[Washington] Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation on Tuesday unveiled two new business jets and announced orders were lining up from Flexjet and Qatar Airways.

The two all-new aircraft - dubbed Gulfstream G500 and G600 - optimise speed, have spacious cabins and are equipped with advanced flight decks, said the Savannah, Georgia-based company, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

According to Gulfstream, the G500 can fly long distances at high speed, including from New York to Geneva at 1102 kmh.

The larger G600 can fly further, the company said, including a potential non-stop flight from Los Angeles to London at 1102 kmh, or from Los Angeles to Shanghai at 1041 kmh.

Both will be able to carry up to 19 passengers, with multiple living spaces.

The first flight of the G500 is scheduled for 2015. Gulfstream estimated it will receive type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency in 2017 and begin deliveries in 2018.

The G600 will follow about 12 to 18 months behind, entering service in 2019, the company said.

Flexjet, a provider of fractional aircraft ownership services, is the launch customer for the two jets. Flexjet signed an order Tuesday for up to 50 Gulfstream aircraft, including the existing G450 as well as the new G500 and G650, Gulfstream said.

A separate agreement with Qatar Airways includes the purchase of up to 20 aircraft, with orders for the G500 and G650ER, an extended-range version whose first delivery is expected in 2015.

Gulfstream did not provide details on the number of specific airplanes or the financial terms involved in the Flexjet and Qatar Airways agreements.

Shares in parent General Dynamics, a US aerospace and defense company based in northern Virginia near Washington, rose 0.5 per cent to US$118.89 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. AFP

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