Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor delivered good news from China in a press conference here yesterday.
The Seattle-based manufacturer (Booth No. 3304) has sold three BBJs in the Asia/Pacific region, one of which is already flying with Hong Kong charter operator Metrojet and is scheduled to make an appearance at Air Show China in Zhuhai in December.
According to Metrojet CEO Björn Näf, the BBJ is a great airplane for a region where most of the demand for air charter is for large-cabin and narrowbody jets. The new BBJ is configured for 18 passengers and has a range of more than 6,000 nm. Metrojet will place the airplane on its charter certificate and will operate, manage and maintain it on behalf of the owner.
“We expect the market in China to double over the next five years,” said Näf. “We’re also looking at India as a growth market.”
Taylor said Boeing has sold 195 BBJs since the first delivery in 1999 and delivered 153. The backlog, he said, is valued at about $6 billion.
Since NBAA 2009, the manufacturer has sold two BBJs, a 747 and a 777, and has delivered three BBJs, a BBJ2, three BBJ3s, a 777-300ER and a 777-300LR. Boeing Business Jets has sold eight 747-8s and 13 787s for completion in executive/VIP or head-of-state configuration. The company expects to deliver five 747-8s “all in a clump” to various completion centers for outfitting at the end of 2011. Two more will be delivered in 2012 and the eighth in 2013. Deliveries of 787s for executive/VIP and head-of-state configuration are expected to begin in mid-2012.
Boeing, he said, continues to offer upgrades of the BBJ and announced that the Rockwell Collins enhanced vision system (EVS) was certified last week by the FAA on a BBJ operated by the Air National Guard. The Rockwell Collins EVS is available to current and future BBJ operators as a post-production or optional modification.
Also recently approved by the FAA for the BBJ was Panasonic’s eXconnect high-speed Internet package. The STC was granted in August, and the high-speed Internet package provides data transfer up to 50 Mbps. Boeing expects worldwide coverage will be available by year-end.