Gulfstream expects market growth in 2019 on new business jets: president

FILE PHOTO: People stand in front of a G500 Gulfstream aircraft during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) at Geneva Airport, Switzerland May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - Gulfstream Aerospace expects growth in both sales opportunities and deliveries next year, as the U.S. business jet maker brings two new large-cabin corporate planes to market, company President Mark Burns said on Wednesday.

Burns said in an interview that the entry into service of the company's new G500 and G600 business jets will drive market growth for Gulfstream, a division of General Dynamics Corp. GD.N

“I expect next year will be a growth year,” he said on the sidelines of the National Business Aviation Association annual corporate jet show in Orlando, Florida. “We’re bringing two new airplanes to market at a time when the market is improving.”

After years of sluggish sales, potential buyers at the show are looking closely at new aircraft models with longer ranges and technology for smoother rides, while weighing the advantage of recent U.S. tax deductions. Hopes for new orders in the industry have also been underpinned by a dwindling supply of pre-owned aircraft.

Burns said he is confident that Gulfstream will meet its existing 2018 plans to deliver between 115 to 125 planes this year, although he could not be more specific ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report next week.

The G500 was certified in July and its first delivery was made in September. The slightly larger G600, which can fly nonstop from London to Los Angeles, is expected to be certified by year’s end and enter service in 2019.

A 10-year outlook by Honeywell Aerospace HON.N ahead of the convention forecasts up to 7,700 new business jet deliveries worth $251 billion from 2019 to 2028, up 1 percent to 2 percent from the 10-year forecast in 2017.

Reporting By Allison Lampert; editing by Jonathan Oatis