Global 7000 range boost could be final nail in Global 8000 coffin
During the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) Bombardier announced a 300nm range increase for its upcoming Global 7000 business jet. The new range of the Global 7000 means that it will be able to fly as far as 7,700nm, making a non-stop flight between New York and Hong Kong possible.
The range increase makes it the farthest-flying business jet, beating even the 7,500nm range of the Gulfstream G650ER.
It does however close the gap on Bombardier’s other long-range business jet currently in development, the Global 8000.
The Global 8000, which is planned to have a maximum range of 7,900nm, is smaller than the Global 7000 and also costs a few million dollars less.
Whilst Bombardier has been keen to update on the progress of the Global 7000, little has been said about the Global 8000. The official line has always been that the Global 8000 will be worked on once the Global 7000’s development is at a stage where resources can be diverted across without any impact on the 7000.
But with the Global 7000 range increase putting it just 200nm shy of the Global 8000’s, the business case for the latter starts to fade — especially on price, where the key selling point of the Global 8000 was the extra range.
The range increase was correctly predicted by Rolland Vincent, president of Rolland Vincent Associates, a Dallas-based business aviation consultancy, who said in January that he saw Bombardier increasing the range of the Global 7000 and designating the Global 8000 as a derivative of the former.
For Bombardier, much of the work for the Global 8000 has already been done. The two aircraft share much in common with each other, which is something else that Bombardier is keen to publicly stress.
Whilst Bombardier, as well as all other business jet manufacturers, do not disclose the size of their orders, it is notable that most of publicly announced orders for the Global 7000 / Global 8000 have been for the Global 8000.
But many of these are thought to have quietly switched to the Global 7000. In its landmark 2012 $7.8 billion multi Global family order, VistaJet included firm orders for six Global 8000s and options on a further six.
However, when asked about upcoming aircraft deliveries in recent interviews Thomas Flohr, founder and president of VistaJet, has only mentioned the Global 7000.
Corporate Jet Investor asked Bombardier for clarification of the Global 8000. Its official response: “Bombardier continues to focus on the Global 7000 aircraft entering into service first. More information on the Global 8000 aircraft’s schedule will be communicated once the Global 7000 aircraft development, certification and EIS are complete.”