While not acknowledging the existence of a specific development programme, Bombardier says "watch this space" on a future challenger to Gulfstream's G650 business jet.

"There isn't a new programme launched at this point," said David Dixon, Bombardier vice-president for Asia at the Singapore air show. "That said, Bombardier has launched 25 airplanes since 1989, so we're always watching the market and responding to what the market needs."

 New Gulfstream G650

He quickly added: "But watch this space, we're always looking at the market and we've maintained our investments historically, so I would say there will be new airplanes whether it's going to be competing with the 650 or any others."

Bombardier is widely rumoured to be developing a design for clean-sheet aircraft to replace the airframer's largest business jet offering, the Global Express XRS.

The according to those close to the programme, which is said to be code named M170, the aircraft will directly challenge the Gulfstream G650, which is undergoing certification ahead of a 2012 entry into service.

The Rolls-Royce BR725-powered G650 is capable of travelling 12,950km (7,000nm) at Mach 0.85. The aircraft has a maximum operating speed of M0.925, making it the fastest civil aircraft when it enters service in 2012, says Gulfstream.

By comparison, the Global Express XRS has an equivalent size cabin, but a slower maximum speed of M0.89 and less range at 11,390km.

The new jet is widely believed to be set for unveiling at May's EBACE show in Geneva.

Source: Flight International