Gulfstream announces the new G700
They’ve been battling it out at the very top of the business jet market for years, so with Bombardier’s Global 7500 now the incumbent leader in the ultra long range private jet stakes, it was only a matter of time before rival Gulfstream responded with a new aircraft. And the time is now – with the launch of the G700 program.
Manufacturers often schedule their new aircraft announcements around the big industry shows. And there’s no bigger than NBAA-BACE, here in Las Vegas. It’s the most high profile business aviation event in the world, with a huge static display of current aircraft, and impressive showcases for exciting innovations across the industry.
And Gulfstream’s G700 announcement has certainly grabbed a lot of attention this year. The ultra long range G700 will be Gulfstream’s new flagship – a step up from its current G650ER in several respects, and with a specification that is a close rival to the Global 7500 in some areas – and ahead in others.
How does the Gulfstream G700 compare to the Global 7500?
They are pretty much neck-and-neck in range: The G700 will be able to fly for 7,500nm – which matches the Global 7500’s – that is until Bombardier announced it was now extending the range to 7,700nm just days ago. (Although of course Gulfstream may respond again by extending the G700’s range further during its certification program – something we’ve seen several times before).
And in maximum speed terms, the G700 is an exact match for the Global 7500 at Mach 0.925.
Pricewise, the G700 will come at a higher price than the Global 7500, at $75 million, versus $72.8 million.
However while boundary-pushing range and speed are what grab headlines, in reality they’re not the primary considerations any more for customers at this end of the market – which is catered for by Dassault with its Falcon range, as well as Gulfstream and Bombardier.
The majority of customers aren’t flying to the very far extremes that these aircraft are capable of, so a couple of hundred nautical miles doesn’t make much difference to most, once you can cover the world’s top route pairings. And as for speed, all three are capable of around Mach 0.9 upwards – so the difference between them will shave off minutes, rather than hours, on a typical flight.
Inside the cabin is where the G700 stands out
So what justifies the G700’s additional cost, other than the Gulfstream brand factor? The real differentiator at this end of the market now is the cabin experience. And in particular, how many zones you can create, to offer more privacy, sleeping and working options onboard.
While the Global 7500 has four zones (which took it one ahead of the G650ER), the G700 will now have five – enabled by the tallest and widest cabin in business aviation to date, which is 7% bigger than the Global 7500’s. It will be 2 feet longer in the cabin – and slightly higher and wider too.
The G700’s five zones (which can seat up to 19 passengers) means it can offer a dedicated master bedroom suite with shower and also a separate, private area for dining or conference space that seats six.
As you’d expect, the new aircraft has also pushed the envelope when it comes to the lighting and cabin environment, with a record-breaking 20 windows; a lighting system that recreates sunrise and sunset to reduce jet lag; pressurisation to give the lowest cabin altitude in the industry; and 100% fresh air circulation.
When will the Gulfstream G700 be available for charter?
First deliveries of the G700 are scheduled to begin in 2022, with the first fleet customer our sister company Flexjet. So we’ve still got a couple of years to wait before the G700 becomes available on the on-demand market. In the meantime, it’s over to Bombardier to make the next move.