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During the company’s recent fourth-quarter investor relations call, General Dynamics chairman and CEO Phebe Novakovic said that Gulfstream is in the latter stages of finalising a large multi-aircraft fleet order.
Although Novakovic would not expand on who the client is, she did say that the $1 billion order is by a current customer and that it is for different aircraft types.
The obvious choices would be either Flexjet or Qatar Executive. Both have placed fleet orders in the past few years, although both have already placed follow-on orders as well.
Gulfstream has, in the past, received mega orders worth over $1 billion, with two coming in 2014.
That April, China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing placed an order for up to 60 Gulfstream aircraft. Although no value was publicly announced, Gulfstream said at the time that it was one of its largest orders ever.
Later in the year, Flexjet placed an order valued at just over $1 billion for a mixture of Gulfstream aircraft.
Both Flexjet and Minsheng are already well into the deliveries from their orders, as is Qatar Executive.
Back in 2014, before the Minsheng order was finalised and announced, Novakovic used exactly the same language to describe it during an investor relations call. China’s economy has been slowing in recent years, so it is unlikely that Minsheng would be placing another order any time soon.
Most money is on Flexjet being the buyer.
Qatar Executive has already taken delivery of some of its G650ERs, and recently started taking delivery of its G500s. It is currently awaiting the delivery of its first G600, which Gulfstream says should be certificated by the middle part of the year.
Flexjet accelerated deliveries of its Gulfstream orders based on strong customer demand and has already exercised many of the options that it held.