Bombardier Launches Corporate Shuttles

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The so-called "corporate shuttle" concept -- aircraft dedicated solely to moving employees between a firm's various facilities -- has been around for decades, but no airframer has ever marketed an airplane specifically for that market. Until now. Bombardier last week said the growing market for corporate shuttles has led it to introduce what it calls Bombardier Corporate Shuttle Solutions, which it bills as a "complete family of Bombardier Challenger corporate shuttle jets, backed by a full engineering, program, sales and customer support team." The three new Bombardier Challenger corporate shuttle models -- the Bombardier Challenger 850, 870 and 890, derived from the Bombardier CRJ200, CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jet platforms, respectively -- are being launched as the company's research shows that a sizeable portion of corporate shuttle aircraft are due for replacement in the near future. "There has never been a better time to offer our Bombardier Corporate Shuttle Solutions to the market," stated James Hoblyn, vice-president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. According to Bombardier, each aircraft model in the Corporate Shuttle Solutions program offers a choice of three floorplan configurations that optimize passenger seating, galley and lavatory options. All models feature stand-up cabins, a flat floor and a minimum of 31 inches between seats. Under the three basic interior options, the Standard Cabin has CRJ economy-class seating throughout, with four seats per row. The Split Cabin offers executive-type seats and cabin furnishings in the forward cabin and CRJ economy class seating placed four abreast in the aft cabin, while the Deluxe Cabin configuration has business-class seating throughout with three seats per row. Passenger capacities and aircraft range differ with each cabin option depending on the aircraft model. All Bombardier Challenger corporate shuttle aircraft feature a maximum operating altitude of FL410. The Challenger 850 features a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.80 (850 km/h) while the Challenger 870 and 890 shuttles can both fly at Mach 0.82 (872 km/h).