Boeing Sells A Handful of BBJs, Plans Convertible Options
Just how bad were executive jet sales for Boeing last year? According to information from the 2009 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Boeing sold eight personal jets since the show last year. However, four of those orders were canceled leaving just four. Compare this with the last period between shows when Boeing sold 33 of the aircraft. There is currently a backlog of 33 Boeing Business Jets on order worth $1.9 billion plus another 22 widebody VIP jets worth $5.4 billion.
In a response to the times Boeing has focused recently on making changes to jets so that they have greater utility. The BBJ Convertible can be reconfigured from an all-passenger to an all-cargo configuration in less than eight hours. This will allow the plane to do double duty as transport for people as well as supplies. A just-announced cabin modification to the Boeing 747-8 VIP widebody airliner adds over 800 square feet above the main deck of the aft cabin area. The modification includes stairs from the main deck to the space above which can be a lounge area or an ideal sleeping space since there are no windows.
BBJ president Steven Hill also announced his upcoming retirement after 35 years with Boeing. BBJ chief pilot Steve Taylor will be the new president after Hill retires in July.