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EBACE: Gulfstream's course for midsize segment undecided

Gulfstream’s future in the mid-size market is “yet to be determined”, says chief executive Mark Burns.

With the acquisition of Galaxy Aerospace in 2001, Gulfstream inherited the type certificates for the Israel Aerospace Industries-built Astra SPX and the Galaxy, which were rebranded the G100 and G200.

With the introduction of the widened, lengthened and updated G150 in 2007, Gulfstream became a major player in a then-booming midsize business jet market. The super midsize G280 then appeared in 2012.

The G280 remains a leading seller in the super midsize segment, with Gulfstream rolling the 100th airframe off the line recently. “It’s early in the life of that airplane,” Burns tells Flightglobal in a 23 May interview.

But demand for the G150 has tapered off significantly since Gulfstream deliveries peaked in 2008, according to Flightglobal Fleets Analyzer, with only five delivered in 2014 and 2015 each.

“We’ve got a very low rate of production on the G150 right now,” Burns says. “It is a crowded marketplace without a doubt.”

The Hawker 800-series is out of production, but the G150 now competes with several familiar rivals, including the Cessna Citation X+, Sovereign+, and a host of new entrants, including the Embraer Legacy 500 and the Citation Latitude.

Gulfstream added auto-throttles to the G150 in the 2012, but has not announced any new technologies or plans for the midsize segment since. But Burns emphasizes the company hasn’t turned its back on the market.

“From a [research and development] standpoint, we’re looking at everything from the G650 to the G150 segment and everything in between,” he says.

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