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Having produced more than 2,000 business jets since the late ’50s, Gulfstream is riding high on its most recent jet, the G650. It is capable of travelling at nine-tenths the speed of sound, and has a production backlog extending to 2017 — you’ll need to be patient. Private jets are becoming a time-saving necessity, says Esling, regional senior VP of international sales. Buyers are also attracted to the security benefits of owning their own jet, travelling with people they know, rather than ‘300 they don’t’. Esling is expecting substantial growth in Africa following a spurt of sales in Russia in 2006 and China later on. The challenge Gulfstream faces is to navigate increasing regulation and find those few pilots who haven’t been deterred by expensive training.

Trevor Esling