The lure of the hugely lucrative Asian market has persuaded Gulfstream to rebrand its super midsize G250 the G280, out of respect for cultural sensitivity.
While Gulfstream will not be drawn in which particular Asian culture this nomenclature is deemed offensive, a Chinese expert tells Flightglobal the number 250 can be translated into Mandarin as "stupid" or "idiotic".
"Since introducing the Gulfstream G250 in 2008 and presenting it to customers around the world, we determined that G280 is a more amenable number sequence in certain cultures," Larry Flynn, Gulfstream senior vice-president marketing and sales, said.
"We value our international customers highly and this change reflects our commitment to understanding the diverse cultures of our global business environment," he added.
Gulfstream has made no secret of vast sales potential for its expanding business jet family within Asia, particularly in China.
Certification and first deliveries of the $24 million Honeywell HTF7250G-powered G280 - developed in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries - are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Source: Flight International