It is “challenging” selling BBJs in the present economic environment, Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor told reporters here in Geneva yesterday. Though the order book for this year is still open and looking for ink, Taylor was optimistic that negotiations begun at the 2012 ABACE show in Shanghai, China, in March would produce real orders before the year is out, if not at EBACE.
Taylor provided detailed information about the 14 BBJs and VIP Jets that Boeing expects to enter service in 2012 (three of which are already in service for their owners as of May 13) and the 12 aircraft that are expected to be delivered for completion.
“We have four aircraft coming out of completion centers by the end of May,” said Taylor in his market overview. “Among those are a BBJ for Deerjet, which is in completion at Associated Air Center in Dallas, Texas, and a BBJ for Beijing Airlines that is being completed by Lufthansa Technik.”
As far as customer airplanes being delivered for completion, Taylor noted that eight are VIP 747-8 Jets and four are BBJs. “We’ve actually delivered two 747-8 aircraft this year already, with a third delivery scheduled by the end of May,” he said.
On that theme Taylor readily admitted that the bulk of BBJ and VIP jet market growth (17 percent of the actual market) is in the Asia Pacific region. The company has two BBJs on static display at EBACE 2012, one from a Czech owner with just 57 hours total time on the airframe (which he says is for sale) and one that flew straight from the ABACE show in Shanghai nonstop, showing off the aircraft’s ability to fly 13 hour legs when required. “We estimate that the BBJ can out-fly the ACJ in range by about 700 nautical miles, when taking into consideration mtow and fuel burn,” he said, while comparing the two aircraft.