Qatar Executive, the business-jet branch of Qatar Airways, will boost its private charter fleet with up to 20 new Gulfstream jets, including the all-new G500 and the flagship G650ER. Qatar Executive operates a fleet of six Bombardier Challenger 605 and Global aircraft. The company says that the new Gulfstream jets will provide more choices for travelers and support the division’s rapid growth. Flexjet, a fractional and membership private jet service based in Richardson, Texas, will also expand its Gulfstream fleet. The company recently inked an agreement to buy up to 50 new jets, including the G450, the G650, and the G500. Flexjet is the first North American customer for the G500 and the first fractional provider to buy the jet.
The $43.5 million G500, scheduled for first flight next year and first deliveries in 2018, will carry eight passengers on trips up to 5,700 miles, at speeds up to Mach 0.85, or 561 mph. (Its passenger capacity is 18 people, and its maximum cruise speed is Mach 0.90, or 594 mph.) The clean-sheet design aims to optimize speed and efficiency while providing wide-cabin comfort. The G650ER, which starts at $66.5 million, is the new extended-range version of the top-of-the-line 18-passenger G650. The new aircraft adds 575 miles in range at a cruising speed of Mach 0.85. Its maximum range is 8,600 miles—enough to provide nonstop service from New York to Beijing. Deliveries of the ER model began in mid November, ahead of schedule. The G450, which priced starting in the mid $30 million range, can be outfitted to accommodate up to 16 passengers, and it can fly up to 5,000 miles nonstop. (gulfstream.com)