Boeing Business Jets continues to hold high expectations for the Asia-Pacific market as the region accounts for 26 percent of its customers. Pre-owned BBJs in the region remain popular but the company is heavily focused on deliveries of its Max series aircraft. It has sold 18 BBJ Max aircraft to date with 13 Max 8s, three Max 9s and two Max 7s contributing to the total.
Half of BBJ’s customers fall into the private category, while the remainder consists of government (34 percent), charter (12 percent), and the corporate sector (4 percent). Jeff Dunn, deputy to the president and vice president of sales for BBJ, said the current customer representation in the Asia-Pacific region has increased from about 17 percent over the last decade. “Traditionally, there are mostly single-aisle airplanes in the greater China area, so we have focused on that segment. With all of the companies and GDP that’s been created in China, they need those types of airplanes. It’s almost like an efficiency tool,” explained Dunn.
Captain Alex Fecteau, director of marketing for BBJ, expressed optimism for sales of the Max 7 in the Asia-Pacific market. “We expect the Max 7 to sell the most because of its 7,000-nm range. It can go from Dubai to New York nonstop, which is a long way for a small airplane.”
The BBJ Max 7 has been lengthened by 76 inches to around 116 feet with an mtow of 177,000 pounds. The cabin is just over 85 feet long and 11 feet wide with a total area of 884 sq ft. The aircraft features CFM Leap-1B engines, seven auxiliary fuel tanks, and the same landing gear and wing design as the Max 8.
The BBJ Max 8 has been the biggest seller so far, with its design echoing that of the 737-800 platform with a range of 6,640 nm and direct hourly operating cost of $3,190 The BBJ Max 9’s range is 6,515 nm with a direct operating cost of $3,380 per hour.
On typical missions the BBJ Max offers a lower cabin altitude than the ACJneo, according to BBJ, citing 5,600 feet compared with 6,400 feet. “Lower cabin altitude allows excellent comfort for our customers. They don’t get as much jet lag, and that’s a really big help for customers in China,” said Dunn.
Direct operating costs for the BBJ Max 7 are quoted at $3,071 per hour, a price BBJ boasts is just $99 more per hour to operate than a G650. “While maintaining all the comfort and all the ability for the customer, you can still fly with a lot more room than in a G650,” said Fecteau. “We really think the Max 7 is a game changer in our segment. It goes almost 1,000 miles farther than the previous generation of the Boeing Business Jet. It’s a lot of airplane that goes a long range for not a lot of cost.”
BBJ customers and their aircraft are not excluded from the Boeing Global Services arm formed in July last year. “We integrated BGS here and are working side by side. We have a dedicated BBJ field representative and an extensive network in country to support our customers,” said Dunn. With the healthy presence of preowned BBJs going into China, BBJ also offers an all access pass, which can be purchased for a fee, that essentially treats the customer as if they purchased a brand-new airplane. “Intellectual property is covered by the pass. The customer will also get free pilot or maintenance training depending on their needs and they are tagged in the system as a first-time buyer,” said Dunn.
BBJ will mark its presence at ABACE with a BBJ belonging to a Beijing customer at the static display. For the first time, Boeing Global Services will also have a chalet open to exhibitors. “We are going to continue to be in China with boots on the ground,” said Dunn.