August 24 ’08
Flying into the new Hong Kong International is no longer thrilling as coming in to Kai Tak on instruments. Going to Hong Kong after the SARS could be an episode for “Fear Factor.” However, flying in on a Gulfstream 100 is something that most of us would not mind.
This was a demo flight and I had to be a salesman, an airplane encyclopedia on performance of all jets, entertainer, bar tender, and of course flight attendant. I had to put the Zegna suit on the side, fold my sleeves work on the wine glasses, DVD machine, and of course clean up after the afternoon snack. One is obliged to be “service oriented” if you are trying to sell airplanes over $10M dollars. I was even ready to wear an apron if they would sign the sales contract. This is the fun life of aviation!
The G100 supports the new look winglet, which I feel is becoming a Gulfstream trademark. The Astra was an original IAI design but bought out by Gulfstream. The cockpit layout was pretty much like its bigger brother the original Galaxy or now called the G200. They both have that distinct styling that one can notice that it is just adopted in the Gulfstream family. However, for the speed, the range, and the price, all others in the same category will find it hard to beat the G100-this is probably why Gulfstream has taken it under its wings.
Landing at the Hong Kong Business Aviation Terminal is like stopping in most of the fancy FBOs in Europe and the States except that the whole staff is Chinese. The funny thing is that we expect everything in China to be cheaper, but not this one. The handling, servicing, and every move is definitely much much more expensive. Nope, they did not have Dim sum or Congee in the guest lounge. The whole place was very modern, done in good taste, with class and style. I even had to rent a limo into town so I would fit in to the environment.
Can’t talk about the customer at the moment but will be happy to show you the airplane when the new one is parked in our hangar. I’m hoping that after this free ad, Gulfstream will send us a G550 next time so I can invite all of you and take you for a ride.