Gulfstream has announced two major orders for its new G500 clean-sheet business jet, which was unveiled at the airframer's Savannah, Georgia headquarters on 14 October alongside its longer-range stablemate, the G600.

Middle East VIP operator Qatar Executive was present at the launch, where it signed a memorandum of understanding for up to 20 Gulfstream types. The deal includes firm orders and options for the large-cabin, high-speed G500 and flagship G650ER, which is scheduled to enter service later this year.

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said of the deal: “Qatar Executive has been on an accelerated growth path since its inception. In order to keep pace with the future strategic growth plans of our private jet division, the fleet is being expanded with aircraft that meet the needs of our guests, providing a wide range of options. Today's announcement signals a next step for Qatar Executive's relatively young and buoyant history."

The 5,000nm-range (9,260km) G500 will link Doha non-stop with London, Geneva and Paris at Mach 0.90. The maiden flight of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW814GA-powered G500 is scheduled for 2015, leading to US and European certification in 2017. Service entry is earmarked for 2018.

US fractional ownership company Flexjet will take delivery of the first G500 as part of an order for up to 50 Gulfstream types, including the G450 and G650.

The 6,200nm-range G600 is scheduled to enter service in 2019.