Boeing [NYSE: BA] Business Jets today celebrates its 10-year anniversary by launching the newest member of its business jet family -- the BBJ 3. The airplane, which is based on the new Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range), won two orders from undisclosed customers.
Boeing does not reveal the identity of BBJ owners at the request of its customers.
The new BBJ 3 is the largest BBJ family member and offers 1,120 square feet (104 square meters) of cabin space, 35 percent more than the BBJ and 11 percent more than the BBJ 2. With up to eight auxiliary fuel tanks, the BBJ 3 has a maximum range of 5,475 nautical miles (10,140 km).
In addition to the two BBJ 3 orders, Boeing Business Jets has secured 10 new orders for BBJs in the last 11 months, bringing total program sales to 114 airplanes.
"This has been a remarkable year for the BBJ," Boeing Business Jets President Steven Hill said during a media briefing at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention and Exhibition in Orlando. "Since last year's NBAA, we have won 12 new orders. The continued success of the BBJ is validation of the airplane's value to its owners. And I can't think of a better way to celebrate 10 years of success in the VIP market than with a new family member."
A decade ago, Boeing and General Electric launched Boeing Business Jets, providing private owners, heads of state, corporate leaders and charter companies with a long-range airplane that offers three times the interior space of traditional business jets with similar range capability.
Since then, Boeing Business Jets has become the eighth-largest Next-Generation 737 customer. Boeing Commercial Airplanes provides airplanes to Boeing Business Jets, which then delivers them "green" to a customer-selected completion center for interior configuration and paint.
Private individuals comprise 43 percent of the BBJ customer base. About 35 percent are government heads of state, 12 percent are corporate operators and the remaining 10 percent are charter operators.
The BBJ 3 joins an airplane family that includes the BBJ, which is a high-performance derivative of the 737-700, and the BBJ 2, which is based on the 737-800. The BBJ was launched July 2, 1996, and was followed by the BBJ 2 on Oct. 11, 1999.
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