Boeing Soon To Reach 100 BBJ Orders

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Boeing's Business Jets operation last week said the company is advancing toward a major program milestone -- selling 100 business jets. According to the company, no other ultra-large-cabin, long-range business jet manufacturer has accomplished that feat and the BBJ and BBJ2 continue to lead that market by outselling its nearest competitor by a factor of 4 to 1. Boeing says that, since its inception in 1996, Boeing Business Jets has won orders and commitments for 97 airplanes, winning six within the past six months. The BBJ and BBJ2 are high-performance derivatives of the commercially popular Next-Generation 737-700 and 737-800, respectively. "The interest and orders for the BBJ continues to grow. We're confident that the record sales pace will continue and that we will achieve 100 orders before the end of this year," BBJ President Steven Hill said during a media briefing at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. The latest orders and commitments for four BBJs and two BBJ 2s came from customers in the Middle East region, the United States and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Fifty-seven customers have ordered 83 BBJs and 14 BBJ2s. About 40 percent of BBJ customers are private individuals, 38 percent are government heads of state, and the remaining customer segment is divided between corporate and charter operators. According to Boeing, the BBJ cabin offers 807 square feet of space; the BBJ2 offers 25 percent more cabin space and twice as much cargo capacity as the BBJ. The company says there are currently 81 BBJs in service around the world. The fleet has generated more than 140,000 flight hours to date and 56,256 flights, with an industry-leading 99.9 percent dispatch reliability.