Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500

How do the Bombardier Global 5500 and the Gulfstream G500 compare side-by-side? What are the advantages offered by each model? Mike Chase analyses the performance and productivity parameters.

Mike Chase  |  01st May 2024
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    Mike Chase
    Mike Chase

    Michael Chase owns Chase & Associates, an aviation consulting firm specialized in industry product...

    Bombardier Global 5500 above the clouds


    Over the following paragraphs we’ll consider key productivity parameters for the Bombardier Global 5500 and Gulfstream G500 (including payload, range, speed, and cabin size) to establish which aircraft provides the better value in the Large Jet market.


    Bombardier Global 5500

    Bombardier’s Global 5500 received type certification in 2019. Incorporating a pair of Rolls-Royce BR700-710D5-21 engines, it boasts greater thrust but lower fuel-burn (lower operating costs).

    With the new engines it achieves longer range and a slightly greater speed than its Global 5000 sibling.

    The Global 5500 entered service with redesigned wings featuring re-profiled trailing edges while the cockpit incorporates Collins’ Pro Line Fusion-based Vision Flight Deck. The cabin, meanwhile, is inspired by the Global 7500 and incorporates Nuage seating.

    At the time of writing, there were 29 Bombardier Global 5500 business jets operating around the world, with 20 being wholly owned and nine enrolled in fractional ownership fleets. By continent, North America had the largest fleet percentage (65%), followed by Europe (25%).

    Gulfstream G500

    Entering service a year before the Global 5500, the Gulfstream G500 essentially replaced the G450 in the Savannah, Georgia-based OEMs production line. Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW814GA engines, Gulfstream says the jet is up to 33% more fuel efficient than its previous generation jets.

    Boasting an impressive cabin ventilation system which can replace cabin air in just two minutes, the G500 uses the Symmetry Flight Deck featuring active control sidesticks that increase visual and tactile feedback between pilots. Indeed, the G500 is the first non-military aircraft to be equipped with active side-stick control, according to the OEM.

    As of this writing there were 129 Gulfstream G500s in operation worldwide, 125 of which were wholly owned, and four were under shared ownership. North America had the largest fleet percentage (82%), followed by Europe (13%).

    Payload Comparison

    When comparing business jets, it is important for potential operators to focus on the payload capability, and especially the ‘Available Payload with Maximum Fuel’. Table A shows both business jets ‘Available Payload with Maximum Fuel’ to be nearly the same.

    Table A - Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500 Payload Comparison

    Cabin Cross-Section Comparison

    As shown in Chart A, the cabin height of 6.2ft is the same for both aircraft, but the Gulfstream G500 cabin offers more width (7.9ft versus 7.6ft). Not depicted on the chart, the Bombardier Global 5500 has greater cabin length (27.2ft versus 26.3ft), and the net result is a larger cabin volume in favor of the Global 5500 (1,899cu.ft versus 1,715cu.ft).

    The cabin volume measurements are for the net main seating areas and exclude the lavatory. In terms of interior luggage space, the Global 5500 (195cu.ft) provides more room than the Gulfstream 500 (175cu.ft), while neither jet offers any external baggage capacity.

    Chart A -  Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500 Cabin Comparison

    Range Comparison

    Using Wichita, Kansas, as the start point, Chart B shows the Bombardier Global 5500 (6,038nm) with a greater ‘four pax with available fuel’ range than the Gulfstream G500 (5,408nm).

    Note: For business jets, ‘four Pax Range’ represents the maximum IFR range of the aircraft at long range cruise.

    The NBAA IFR fuel reserve calculation is for a 200nm alternate. This range does not include winds aloft or any other weather-related obstacles.

    Chart B - Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500 Range Comparison

    Powerplant Details

    As mentioned, the Bombardier Global 5500 has two Rolls-Royce Pearl BR700-710D5-21 engines, providing 15,125lbst each and burning 403 gallons of fuel/hour (GPH). By comparison, the Gulfstream G500 has two Pratt & Whitney PW814GA engines each producing 15,144lbst, and burning 366GPH fuel.

    Cost per Mile Comparison

    Chart C details the ‘Cost per Mile’ for each jet, factoring direct costs and with both aircraft flying a 1,000nm mission with an 800lbs (four passengers) payload.

    As shown, the Bombardier Global 5500 ($10.41/nm) has the higher cost per mile compared to the Gulfstream G500 ($8.76/nm) – a difference of 18.8% cost per mile in favor of the Gulfstream G500.

    Chart C - Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500 Cost Per Mile Comparison

    Variable Cost Comparison

    The ‘Variable Cost’, illustrated in Chart D, is defined as the estimated cost of fuel, maintenance labor, scheduled parts, and miscellaneous trip expenses (e.g., hangar, crew and catering).

    These costs DO NOT represent a direct source into every flight department and their trip support expenses. For comparative purposes, the costs presented are the relative differences, not the actual differences since these may vary from one flight department to another.

    The Bombardier Global 5500, at $3,016/hr., has the higher variable cost when compared to the Gulfstream G500 ($2,885/hr.) – a 4.5% difference in favor of the Gulfstream G500.

    Chart D - Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500 Variable Cost Comparison

    Market Comparison

    Table B contains the prices for a 2023 factory-new model (per Aircraft Bluebook, Spring 2024 data). Also listed are the long-range cruise speed and range numbers (per B&CA), and the number of aircraft in-operation, the percentage for sale, and average sold (JETNET).

    The average number of new/used transactions (units sold) per month over the previous 12 months is less than one unit for the Bombardier Global 5500 and 2.3 units for the Gulfstream G500. Meanwhile, both models remained in short supply on the pre-owned market at the time of writing, which is likely to keep pre-owned prices higher.

    Table B - Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500 Market Comparison

    Used Aircraft Retail Sale Transaction Trends

    According to JETNET, there was one 2019-model Bombardier Global 5500 business jet available for sale on the used aircraft market with an asking price of $35.5m, at the time of writing.

    In comparison, there were five pre-owned Gulfstream G500 jets for sale with asking prices ranging from $38.75m to $43.950m, and production years between 2018 and 2021.

    While each aircraft serial number is unique, the Airframe Total Time (AFTT) and age/condition will cause great variation in the price of a specific aircraft – even between two aircraft from the same year of manufacture. Ultimately, the final negotiated price remains to be decided between the seller and buyer before the sale of an aircraft is completed.

    Depreciation Schedule

    Aircraft that are owned and operated by businesses are often depreciable for income tax purposes under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). Under MACRS, taxpayers can use accelerated depreciation of assets by taking a greater percentage of the deductions during the first few years of the applicable recovery period.

    In certain cases, aircraft may not qualify under the MACRS system and must be depreciated under the less favorable Alternative Depreciation System (ADS), based on a straight-line method meaning that equal deductions are taken during each year of the applicable recovery period. In most cases, recovery periods under ADS are longer than recovery periods available under MACRS.

    There is a variety of factors that taxpayers must consider in determining if an aircraft may be depreciated, and, if so, the correct depreciation method and recovery period that should be utilized. For example, aircraft used in charter service (i.e. Part 135) are normally depreciated under MACRS over a seven-year recovery period, or under ADS using a twelve-year recovery period.

    Aircraft used for qualified business purposes, such as Part 91 business use flights, are generally depreciated under MACRS over a period of five years or by using ADS with a seven-year recovery period.

    There are certain uses of the aircraft, such as non-business flights, that may have an impact on the allowable depreciation deduction available in any given year.

    The US enacted the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law on December 22, 2017. Under the Act, some taxpayers could deduct up to 100% of the cost of a new or pre-owned aircraft purchased and placed in service before January 1, 2023.

    This 100% expensing provision was a huge bonus for aircraft owners and operators. After December 31, 2022, the Act decreases the percentage available each year by 20% to depreciate qualified business jets until December 31, 2026. In 2024, the percentage rate available has been reduced to 60%.

    Tables C and D depict an example of using the MACRS schedule for a 2023-model Bombardier Global 5500 and Gulfstream G500, respectively, in private (Part 91) and charter (Part 135) operations over five- and seven-year periods. The prices are as published by Aircraft Bluebook (Spring 2024 edition).

    Tables C and D - Bombardier Global 5000 and Gulfstream G500 Sample MACRS

    Productivity Comparison

    The points in Chart E are centered on the same aircraft. Pricing used in the horizontal axis is as published in Aircraft Bluebook. The productivity index requires further discussion since factors used can be somewhat arbitrary. Productivity can be defined (and it is here) as the multiple of three factors:

    1. Four Passenger Range (nm) with available fuel

    2. The long-range cruise speed flown to achieve that range

    3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities

    Chart E - Bombardier Global 5500 vs Gulfstream G500 Productivity Comparison

    Others may choose different parameters, but serious business aircraft buyers are usually impressed with price, range, speed and cabin size.

    Going by Aircraft Bluebook’s Spring 2024 data, the purchase price of a 2023-model factory new Bombardier Global 5500 when purchased new is $5m less. Moreover the Global 5500 provides greater four pax with available fuel range and a greater cabin volume, leading to its higher productivity rating in this jet comparison.

    Table E, below, left, shows that according to Aircraft Bluebook (Spring 2024 data) as the aircraft age, the average retail prices on the pre-owned market come closer together, though the G500 value remains higher. As shown in Table F (below, right) Gulfstream has obtained a 78% market share of deliveries over the past four years despite the higher price tag.

    Both jets offer very similar available payloads with full fuel capacity, though the Gulfstream G500 has lower operating costs than the Bombardier Global 5500.

    Of course, there are plenty of other considerations for buyers to make beyond what is covered in these paragraphs. Prospective buyers of one of these large jets would have to weigh the capabilities of each very carefully against their specific mission need to determine which one is the best fit for their flight operations.

    Considerations of cockpit and cabin amenities will need to be made, as will airport performance, terminal area performance and time-to-climb that might factor in a buying decision.

    Ultimately, there is plenty for a prospective buyer to consider when deciding which jet would be the better option for them. For the right mission profile, both jets offer great value in the market today.


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    Mike Chase

    Mike Chase

    Editor, Aircraft Comparisons

    Michael Chase owns Chase & Associates, an aviation consulting firm specialized in industry product and market research in the Commercial & Business Aviation sectors.

    With over five decades of extensive experience, Michael has worked as a director of special projects for JETNET, LLC; served as Senior Management Consultant for Sabre Holding; and was Director of Market & Sales Research for Gulfstream Aerospace, leading sales and product research, including feasibility and viability studies.


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