Boeing Business Jets (Chalet 7) announced last week the first sale of its new BBJ Max 8 executive airliner. Burbank, Calif.-based Avjet Corporation negotiated the deal on behalf of the purchaser, a current BBJ operator.
“Our VIP customers are always demanding new improvements in comfort, speed and range,” said Steve Taylor, president of BBJ Aircraft Division, which is based in Seattle, Wash. “The BBJ Max will extend our lead in this segment and ensures our customers getting the best of both worlds.”
According to Boeing, the BBJ Max 8 is planned to have a range of more than 6,300 nautical miles, in large part due to itsnew CFMLeap engines, which will provide a 14-percent reduction in fuel burn over theBBJ’s currentCFM56-7 turbofans. A combined total of more than 150 BBJs, BBJ2s and BBJ3’s are in service.
In addition to charter operations, Avjet buys and sells BBJs and manages interior completions of the model. “Avjet’s long relationship with Boeing has helped fuel our company’s international growth over the past decade,” said Marc Foulkrod, Avjet chairman and CEO. “We are especially proud to be Boeing’s launch customer for the BBJ Max.”
According to Avjet, it has sold more BBJs over the past six years than any other aviation firm. Its charter fleet includes not only BBJs, but also jets manufactured by Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault Falcon, Hawker and Cessna.
A prime example of Avjet’s charter capabilities occurred in 2009, when the company worked with the U.S. Department of State, FAA, WhiteHouse and other international bodies to obtain entry into North Korea’s restricted air space. Avjet pilots flew former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his staff in an FAA Part 135-certified BBJ on a mission to help winthe release of two American reporters, who were being held captive in the country.
The BBJ Max 8 and BBJ Max 9 are based respectively on the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, which are upgrades of 737-800 and 737-900. The first Max aircraft are expected to enter service by 2017. A BBJ Max upgrade of the BBJ (based on the 737-700), which would require an increase in max gross weight, is still being studied, according to Boeing Business Jets.