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Global Express vs Gulfstream G4

Comparing the Bombardier Global Express and the Gulfstream IV, two of the most popular Luxury Jets in the sky

The Global Express and the Gulfstream G4 are the original luxury jets to usher in a new era of long range aviation.

Global Express vs Gulfstream G4
The Bombardier Global Express (top) and the Gulfstream G4 luxury jets

Released in 1987, the Gulfstream G4 set a new standard in luxury aviation, one that Bombardier sought to raise even further with the announcement of the Global Express in 1991.

Since their debuts, each aircraft has become the platform for their company’s series of flagship business jets that have driven the advancements in the long-range business jet category ever since.

The Global Express entered service in 1999 as the Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express, with the upgraded Global Express XRS variant released in 2004.

The series is still in production today, with variants optimized for a variety of missions, including the new ultra long-range Global 8000. As of 2019, there were more than 750 Global Express jets in service around the globe.

The Gulfstream IV enjoyed a 30 year production run with GIV-SP and G450 variants, and more than 900 aircraft were delivered until production ended in 2018 with the release of the Gulfstream G5.

Although the G4 was released more than 30 years ago and the Bombardier Global Express is nearly 10 years newer, they remain two of the most popular options in luxury aviation for on-demand charter carrying 10-19 passengers.


The Global Express was initially powered by two BMW/Rolls-Royce BR710s, and it shared its fuselage cross section with the Canadair Regional Jet.

The original Global Express travels at a maximum speed of 0.76 mach (590 mph) with a flight range of 6,170 nautical miles, offering non-stop transoceanic flights like New York City to Tokyo, or connecting nearly any two cities around the world with only one refueling stop.

The XRS variant increased cruise speeds and extended the range with fuel tanks at the wing root.

The Gulfstream IV is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 turbofan engines to reach speeds up to 0.75 mach (581 mph). The G4 offers an impressive, transoceanic flight range up to 4,300 nautical miles, and with 13 passengers on board, it still covers 3,800 nautical miles while cruising at 528 mph.

One of the performance advantages offered by the Gulfstream G4 is it’s shot take-off distance, able to operate on 5,000 foot runways compared to the Global Express’s requirement for a 5,820-foot takeoff distance.

In terms of speed and range, the Global Express edges the G4 on both marks.


Until the release of the Gulfstream G650, the Global Express held the title of the business jet with the largest cabin measuring 2,140 cubic feet.

The luxurious, spacious interior provides flexible seating configurations for up to 19 passengers, with a slightly larger luggage capacity than the G4 at 185 cubic feet. The XRS variant improved cabin layout and lighting.

The Gulfstream G4 offers typical configurations optimized for 13 passengers, while some models may offer high-density configurations created for up to 19 passengers.

The 1,650 cubic foot cabin of the G4 includes amenities such as a forward or rear lavatory, a full size galley, and a 169 cubic feet of storage, enough for 6 rolling suitcases, 8 garment bags, 7 carry-on bags, and 4 sets of golf clubs.


When the Global Express entered service in 1999, it carried a price tag of $46 million USD for the original model, and $59 million USD for the XRS variant. Today, used models can be purchased for around $10-15 million USD on the pre-owned market.

The Gulfstream IV originally cost around $26 million USD, with pre-oned models available for between $2-5 million USD, both values substantially lower than the Global Express.

Hourly rates on the Global Express will be higher on average, with charter rates available between $8,000-$12,000*, while the Gulfstream G4 can be chartered for between $6,000-$9,000* per hour.


Overall, the Global Express outperforms the Gulfstream IV as a newer jet, with higher cruise speeds and substantially longer range. The Gulfstream IV offers greater airport flexibility with shorter runway requirements, while offering a large cabin for more than a dozen passengers, and in some cases as many as the Global.

Both private jets are excellent choices for coast-to-coast and intercontinental flights, with the Gulfstream G4 typically available at lower charter costs.

Interested in chartering a luxury jet for your upcoming trip? Submit a request or give us a call at +1 (888) 987-5387 for a free charter quote from Air Charter Advisors.