Boeing's BBJ Program Inches Closer To 100-Airframe Mark

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Boeing Business Jets this week announced that the latest order for the company's VIP-configured 737 airliner brought its total sales of the ber bizjet to 98 since its inception. The latest BBJ sale was to a Hong Kong-based operator in the People's Republic of China. Boeing did not reveal the identity of the operator at the customer's request. Of the 57 customers who have ordered BBJs, 39 percent are private individuals, 38 percent are governments, 13 percent are corporate operators and 10 percent are charter companies. Currently, there are 84 BBJs in service around the world. About 10 percent of BBJs delivered are based in the Asia Pacific region. "We are absolutely thrilled and confident that this order will be the first of many in the growing China market for VIP airplanes," said Steven Hill, BBJ president. "The order also brings us closer to our 100th sales order, which we hope to achieve before the end of the year." Boeing said it recently established a dedicated BBJ field service office in the region. The field service office is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and provides technical support to BBJ operators in the Australasia region and India. "Over the next few years, we anticipate steady growth throughout Asia, and the BBJ's spacious cabin, long range and sophisticated communication systems make it an ideal airplane for that region," Hill said. The BBJ and BBJ 2 are high-performance derivatives of the popular 737-700 and 737-800, respectively. The BBJ cabin offers 807 square feet of space; the BBJ2 offers 25 percent more cabin space and twice as much cargo capacity.