Gulfstream is going head to head with the Bombardier Global 7000 at MEBAA by displaying a four-zone cabin version of the G650ER. The Savannah-based airframer's flagship – traditionally offered with a three-zone cabin – faces competition from the new Bombardier champion, which flew for the first time in early November. The Global 7000's four-zone cabin is one of its big selling points.

The G650ER is one of three aircraft being exhibited in Dubai by the General Dynamics subsidiary, with a G550 and G280 also on show.

Gulfstream has sold 25 G650s to Middle East customers including Qatar Executive, which has three in service with orders for three more as it gears up to become the region’s predominant charter operator with an almost all-Gulfstream fleet. “This has been a great market for the G650ER,” says Trevor Esling, regional senior vice president, international sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The Gulfstream brand is incredibly strong in the Middle East.”

Gulfstream has around 120 aircraft in the Middle East and North Africa, mostly large-cabin aircraft, including the G550 and soon-to-be-discontinued G450. Despite a recent slowdown as a result of the falling oil price, Esling says Gulfstream’s fleet in the region has grown 16% in the past five years.

The 7,400nm (13,700km)-range Global 7000 has a 16.6m-long cabin, 2.3m longer than the G650ER's, and was designed as a four-zone aircraft. Although the Canadian aircraft’s range is 100nm short of the G650ER’s 7,500nm, it beats the baseline G650’s 7,000nm. It is the first serious challenge to Gulfstream’s six-year dominance at the top end of the traditional business jet market.

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Source: Flight Daily News