The Multi-Million Dollar Gulfstream Interior Floor Plan and (multi-million dollar) Mistakes

Aviatrade is currently in the thick of the G650 market and discovering some remarkable facts about the planning and execution of the interior outfitting in these ultra-long-range jets.

Clearly, jet buyers at this level can indulge any amount of self-expression when designing interior floor plans for these luxury long range travel jets. Yet, somewhat curiously, there appears to be a less-than-sophisticated understanding of the long range travel functionality of the cabin layout.

This apparent naïveté extends to both crew needs, passenger comfort and cabin quietude enroute;

The most desirable and workable floor plan consists of a forward galley and forward crew rest compartment (crew rest ?…really ? why do they need it ?), coupled with a variable combination of dining area (otherwise known as a ‘conference group’) and single seats or divan/couch/credenza in the cabin mid-section, then in the aft of the cabin is a divided compartment (pocket door) leading to a dual couch, or single couch with two chairs…or perhaps a single chair opposite a desk or small credenza…are we confused yet ?

et voilá, the ideal floor plan.

…and a view of a very quiet and comfortable aft cabin that opens into an ensuite bathroom

The forward cabin in this ‘ideal’ interior…

So why are we emphasizing cabin layout ? Because, no matter how much money is spent on ‘creative’ designs for cabin layouts, there will be a time when the owner wants to sell.

Ahah ! This is when your favorite designer who designed your New York, Park Avenue, manse, or your Cap D’Antibes villa, will be busted by the people who live ‘next door’….because these same people are looking to buy a Gulfstream like yours…..BUT, not if the galley (kitchen) is in the back and there is nowhere for the third crew member to sleep and the interior looks like it was designed for your kids’ slumber parties.

This, below, is an example of ‘how not to do it‘…whilst this G650 layout does have a forward galley, there is no crew rest and some of the couch seats are not certified for take-off and landing (a whole other issue !).

So now we come to the critical factor….resale.

When times are good in the bizjet world (which they’re not, at present) and sellers have the upper-hand, otherwise known as a sellers’ market, then sellers can command premium prices, no matter what the interior configuration of their pride and joy. Unfortunately we have been in a buyers’ market environment for quite some time, therefore, buyers can afford to be choosy and this ‘selective’ approach, coupled with depressed prices, means trouble for sellers.

Aviatrade is witnessing astonishing price drops in the G650 and G650ER markets that would have been unheard of eighteen-twenty months ago. Buyers are looking to buy their ideal floor plan at a discount price or, buy a slightly less desirable floor plan, at an unbelievable discount to asking price. The G650’s with less than ideal floor plan are being discounted by up to seven/eight million dollars.

Of course, the key is to know who is selling and why. Owners of Gulfstream G650’s with non-standard floor plans or unique interior designs (read…funky) are seeing their aircraft languish in the marketplace until a buyer comes along with a low-ball price….a price that an owner has no option but to consider because the alternative is to follow the market slide, continue to support the operating/ownership cost of the aircraft and eventually sell for an even lower price.

This aircraft resale and outfitting dichotomy is not limited to the Gulfstream models. Bombardier and Falconjet are experiencing even greater market turbulence with aircraft such as the Global 6000 and Falcon 7X languishing on the market for even longer periods than Gulfstreams. The same outfitting and resale issues are reflected in the aircraft with quirky interiors and unusual cosmetics.

It should probably come as no surprise that the uber-wealthy are not thinking about resale when they ‘spec-out’ their dream machines. The OEM’s are only too happy to indulge their clients and pile-on the options, custom materials and less-than-functional floor plans.

However….when the proverbial hits the proverbial, it’s too late to change-out that leopard-print carpet and the puce-tinged burled walnut veneer.

Forward planning is probably the only solution when attempting to accommodate unpredictable jet resale market conditions, coupled with some restraint and independent advice during the design and completion phase.

Happy landings !

Philip Rushton
Philip Rushton

Philip Rushton is our publisher, he has spent over forty years in various capacities in the world of aviation. In addition to his publisher duties for BJA, Philip oversees a successful US-based consultancy company, Aviatrade Inc., with offices in the USA, Europe, and China.