Gulfstream’s G400 and G800 puts jet customers in ‘the candy store’


Corporate Jet Investor spoke to three leading brokers to gain the inside track on the G400 and the G800.

Gulfstream’s twin launch of its G400 and G800 business jets puts business jet customers “in the candy store”, according to Steve Varsano, CEO at The Jet Business. Corporate Jet Investor spoke to three brokers to gain the inside track on the G400, priced at $34.5m, and the G800, with a price tag of $71.5m.

“It feels like being in the department candy store,” said Varsano. “There are so many choices you don’t know what to pick.” The two aircraft that Gulfstream launched on Monday (October 4th) are another move towards filling every possible void between each model and manufacturer. “This is fantastic for the consumer,” he added, “but will it cannibalise other models from inside the company or from competitors?”

None of the three – Varsano, Hamish Harding, chairman Action Aviation and David Dixon, president of Jetcraft Asia – were surprised by the timing of the Gulfstream launches.

Harding told CJI: “I had been expecting an 8,000nm model so that Gulfstream could regain the number one spot in terms of range from Bombardier’s Global 7500 which is now back to second place. I originally predicted a ‘G700ER’ but was told by Gulfstream insiders that this would never happen. Now I can see why.”

Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream, first hinted at this at Corporate Jet Investor Miami 2018 when asked about upcoming deliveries of Bombardier’s Global 7500 saying: “Gulfstream has no intention to relinquish control of the market we created with the G650/G650ER.”

Dixon at Jetcraft Asia saw the launch of the ultra-long range G800 as fulfilling Gulfstream’s historic strategy to command the top of the market segment. “Gulfstream has always felt they had the mandate to make the longest, largest- range corporate aeroplane. [Former president] Bill Lowe [1991-1998] said that and they have always tried to preserve that in their battles over the years.”

Planned years in advance, the launches are unlikely to have been influenced by the current particularly buoyant market for business jets said Harding. “Gulfstream now has a product line-up that makes sense to a buyer reviewing purchasing options.”

Focusing on the G400, Varsano and Harding both highlighted its potential to fill a gap in the market. “The G400 does fill a little niche between the 280 and the 500. Also it’s nice to see the competitive pricing [$34.5m] of the aircraft,” said Varsano.

Harding said: “It is bound to be successful and fill a gap in the cheaper three-zone cabin market, under cutting the Global 5500 on price but outperforming the Challenger 3500.”

Turning to the 8,000 nm (14,816 km) G800, Harding viewed the launch against the backdrop of the G650ER being in short supply in the pre-owned market. For most owners, it is already a large enough cabin for the number of passengers they usually fly, so, providing an upgraded G650ER-sized aircraft is a sensible move, he said. “It will capture the many customers who need the 8,000 nm range to fly the ultra-long ranges to Asia, India etc from USA or Europe. I see both the G700 and the G800 having attractions to different high-end buyers, who value either the range of the G800, or the extra cabin space of the G700.”

Varsano, at The Jet Business, thought the G800 “sounds like the aircraft to have” because it has the space offered by the G650 cross section and the height and speed.

Gulfstream had devoted much attention to the pricing of the G800 to ensure co-ordination with the rest of the fleet, Harding said. “The G800 at $71.5m list price is well placed to tempt some to spend the extra $10m for the range and upgrades, while others will probably find the G650ER, with its effectively $10m saving, is still more than enough aircraft for them.”

Returning to his candy store metaphor, Varsano said: “If you have light or dark chocolate in a candy store, you are only going to buy one or the other. Now you have a hybrid version, and you’ll have a little less people buying light or dark chocolate.”

Above: Pricing of the $71.5m G800 complements Gulfstream’s range, said Hamish Harding.

Below: The G400 fills a niche between the 280 and the 500, said Steve Varsano, The Jet Business.


Gulfstream G400 – at a glance

*Priced at $34.5m

*Deliveries expected to start 2025

*Range: 4,200 nm (7,778 km) at long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85

*Seating: Up to nine, 11 or 12 passengers

*Power: two Pratt & Whitney PW812GA engines.


Gulfstream G800 – at a glance

*Priced at $71.5m

*Deliveries expected to start 2023

*Range at Mach 0.85: 8,000 nm (14,816 km)

*Range at Mach 0.90: 7,000 nm (12,964 km)

*Power: two Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines.