Aircraft backlog at Gulfstream Aerospace is at its highest point in six years, with book-to-bill coming in at 1.7:1 during the third quarter, Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics, said this morning during a quarterly investor call. General Dynamics’ aerospace division, which also includes Jet Aviation, saw orders in the quarter jump 79 percent, to $3.247 billion, while backlog climbed to $14.69 billion at the end of last month.
Novakovic remains bullish on sales going forward, saying the pipeline is robust and termed demand for Gulfstreams as “very strong.” She also said Gulfstream’s G400 and G800 announced earlier this month have been well received by the market, with “many orders” already booked for the new jets.
Meanwhile, third-quarter Gulfstream shipments fell by one unit from a year ago, to 31 (25 large-cabin jets and six super-midsize G280s), due to one customer pushing their aircraft delivery to the fourth quarter, she said. Large-cabin shipments were unchanged from third-quarter 2020, with just one more G280 handed over.
Deliveries in the first nine months totaled 80 aircraft (68 large cabins and 12 G280s), down from 87 (71 large cabin and 16 G280s) in the same period last year. According to Novakovic, the lower shipments are due to pandemic-related production cuts announced last year, noting that these cuts peaked in the second quarter. Thus, fourth-quarter deliveries are expected to match the 40 aircraft shipped in that period last year, while next year and 2023 will see increases, she noted.
Revenues at General Dynamics’ aerospace division dipped 1.2 percent, to $5.575 billion, in the first nine months, while earnings slid 0.7 percent, to $677 million.