By Allison Lampert
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – U.S. planemaker Gulfstream on Monday unveiled its widely-expected G700 long-range jet, in a challenge to Bombardier Inc’s
Gulfstream Aerospace, a unit of General Dynamics Corp
The announcement came on the eve of the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) annual corporate aircraft show in Las Vegas, the biggest business jet show in the world.
Large corporate planes that can fly farther are popular with customers and a highlight of the NBAA show which begins on Tuesday.
Gulfstream Aerospace President Mark Burns said the flagship G700, priced at $75 million, would be the “tallest, widest cabin in our industry.”
As guests sipped wine, Burns unveiled a mock-up of the plane, which seats up to 19 passengers, features a six-place dining or conference room and can fly 7,500 nautical miles at Mach 0.85.
The new Gulfstream plane would compete against Bombardier’s $73 million Global 7500, which is sold out through 2021. Gulfstream secured 10 firm orders of the G700 from launch customer Qatar Executive, a division of Qatar Airways.
Flexjet was named as the first North American customer, but Gulfstream did not specify an order number.
The NBAA show takes place against a backdrop of slowing global economic growth, trade tensions between the United States and China and Brexit uncertainties, factors that industry experts see softening demand for corporate jets in the next two years.
Still, Brazil’s Embraer SA
The Praetor order comes as Embraer is pursuing a broader strategy to grow its executive-jet division as it cedes control of its commercial aviation division to U.S. planemaker Boeing Co
Montreal-based Bombardier also said on Monday that its new Global 5500 aircraft will fly 200 nautical miles farther than planned, with a range of 5,900 nautical miles, a lure for customers eager to travel non-stop between far-flung cities.
Bombardier has focused on boosting sales of new products and maintenance packages to drive revenue growth for its aftermarket service business.
Meanwhile, Textron Inc
(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Las Vegas; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Tom Brown and Jane Wardell)