Fractional and jet card operator Flexjet recently announced a relationship with Gulfstream for up to 50 aircraft. These include the new Gulfstream G500, for which Flexjet will be the North American launch customer and sole and exclusive fractional provider offering access to the aircraft.
The deal includes firm orders for six G500s, ten G450s and six G650s, worth an estimated $1 billion at list prices.
- The G450 is outfitted for 16 passengers and can travel 4,350 nautical miles/8,056 kilometers with eight passengers.
- The $43.5 million G500's all-new design optimizes speed, wide-cabin comfort and efficiency. The G500, whose first flight is scheduled for 2015, is slated to be able to fly 5,000 nautical miles/9,260 kilometers and is outfitted for 12 passengers.
- The G650 will seat 12 passengers yet can travel farther, faster, than any other business jet. Its range of 7,000 nautical miles/12,964 kilometers enables it to travel nonstop from the U.S. to Europe or Asia.
The first G450 will be available to Flexjet customers in June 2015. The first G650 will come online in 2016 and first delivery of the G500 is expected in 2018.
Flexjet was formed in 1995 as a subsidiary of aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, but was sold last year to Directional Aviation Capital. Prior to this new Gulfstream order, the Bombardier made Learjets and Challengers have been the core of its fleet of fractional aircraft.
"We wouldn't have done this without a significant backlog of our own customers that would be titling those planes. We have a significant amount of deposits." said Kenn Ricci, Flexjet's chairman and principal of Directional Aviation Capital.
In addition to the aircraft order, Flexjet and Gulfstream entered into a Product Support Services Agreement under which Gulfstream will maintain the Flexjet Gulfstream fleet over the next 10 years.
"Flexjet is privileged to fill the void in the fractional market for new Gulfstream aircraft, becoming the sole and exclusive fractional provider of new Gulfstream aircraft including the G450, G650 and the highly anticipated G500. Our 10-year agreement with Gulfstream will help us meet our owners' demands for longer-range, larger-cabin aircraft, greatly expanding Flexjet's global capabilities," said Kenn Ricci.