For over a decade the Gulfstream G650 has set the standard as the premium business jet. It’s a favourite of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and many other billionaires who demand speed, luxury, and most importantly, distance.
Now Gulfstream has just debuted its successor, the G700, a $75 million purpose-built private jet that can fly up to 7,500 nautical miles, on twin Rolls Royce Pearl 700 engines. It’s the American manufacturer’s most expensive aircraft yet. For this hefty price, the G700 can fly non-stop between any two cities in the world, comfortably spending over 13 hours in the air.
Qatar Executive, a sister company of Qatar Airways, purchased the first G for their private charter business. They’re ordered 10 while in North America FlexJet are expected to take delivery of a similar number.
The G700 is currently on a demonstration tour which started with a 13-hour flight from Georgia to Doha. It’s expected to be certified and ready to fly on customer-bound journeys in 2022.
The G650 is huge and with the G700 everything is bigger. It houses the widest and tallest passenger cabin of any private jet, with space to create up to five separate living areas dependent on the needs of an owner. Gulfstream say that the private suite with en suite bathroom will be standard among all G700s. There’s even a kitchen with space to cook up breakfast, lunch and dinner, three meals being necessary for such huge cross-continental travel.
Primarily the G700 will be going up against the Bombardier Global 7500 in the ultra-long-range, ultra-big jet category. Of course the G700 made sure it was bigger, although the differences are minor. In addition, we still wait for further news on Bombardier’s much promised Global 8000. Based on the Global 6000, the Global 8000 is expected to have a range of 7900 nautical miles, so it will fly even further than the Gulfstream 700. Although, where else it could fly to is a question difficult to answer – other than flying Patagonia to China, or to the poles, not much is out of reach when your private jet can do 7500 nautical miles without refueling.
So is it worth $75 million? Or the expected +$20k per hour flying rate. That depends. The Gulfstream 700 creates something that the world’s ultra-elite don’t have, the one thing they can’t buy – time. It’s a time machine, making just about everywhere accessible on a single flight.