Gulfstream to Boost Output of G550 Jet That Industry Wrote Off

(Bloomberg) -- Gulfstream will increase output of the G550 business jet next year as fliers continue to covet one of the oldest models in the company’s lineup.

The G550 was the General Dynamics Corp. unit’s longest-range plane until the G650 went on sale about six years ago. Since then, Gulfstream had steadily reduced production of the older jet.

“The plane continues to be an outstanding performer for us and, for the first time in a few years, we’re actually going to increase the rate for the 550 in 2019,’’ Gulfstream President Mark Burns, said in an interview at a business-aviation conference in Orlando, Florida. “We’re seeing that continued demand.’’

The popularity of the plane has surprised the industry. Many people thought the jet would be discontinued after Gulfstream released the G500 and G600, each also able to seat 19 passengers. But neither of those has the 6,750-nautical-mile range of the G550, which means it can fly from New York to Tokyo nonstop. That’s one of the main reasons the $61.5 million aircraft has remained in favor.

Burns declined to say by how much production will rise.

“As long as the demand is there we’ll continue to build the airplane,’’ he said.

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