GENEVA, Switzerland, 19 May 2009Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) announced that the BBJ Convertible business jet is now available to prospective customers. The airplane reconfigures from all-passenger to all-cargo configuration in less than eight hours.
Boeing made the announcement at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibit (EBACE) in Geneva last week.
The convertible cargo airplane is based on the commercial next-generation 737-700C (Convertible). The airplane allows operators to alternate between passenger and cargo layouts. The 737-700C already includes the BBJ-inspired configuration of the 737-700 fuselage and the strengthened landing gear and wings of the 737-800.
"The airplane would provide the ultimate in flexibility and multi-purpose mission capability. It would be an ideal airplane for government heads of state or entrepreneurs," says Steven Hill, BBJ president.
Governments, corporations and private individuals can quickly change from transporting VIPs, staff or troops to delivering disaster-relief supplies or configuring for medical evacuation, Boeing officials say. There is room for transporting tools, parts and machinery; race cars or race horses; or equipment for touring bands and musicians.
The decision to explore a possible new BBJ family member is based on a firm order from a BBJ customer for a 737-700C. Hill says a decision to offer the business jet version could be made before the end of the year, and if launched, it would be called the BBJ C.
Boeing won six new orders for their jets recently, increasing total program sales to 108 airplanes.
"The continued sales momentum of the BBJ reflects the value customers place on the airplane's range capability, its industry-leading reliability and its spacious cabin," Hill says. "The BBJ offers more than transportation; it offers the ability to travel with family, friends or business associates while working, eating, sleeping or entertaining in the air as you would at home or in the office."
Boeing Business Jets secured the new orders within the last six months from regions all around the globe including Southeast Asia and Europe. Most BBJ customers choose to remain anonymous, which often is typical in these types of private business transactions. Seventy-three customers have ordered 95 BBJs and 13 BBJ 2s. About 40 percent of BBJ customers are private individuals, 37 percent are government heads of state, and the remaining customer segment is divided between corporate and charter operators.