Boeing has delivered the first two customer ultra long range Boeing Business Jets (BBJs), on schedule. BBJ joint venture partner General Electric has taken delivery of the first aircraft, while the second was claimed by an unnamed customer. The first BBJ to roll off the assembly line is being used by Boeing as a demonstrator.

The Renton-based manufacturer has clocked up 46 orders for the $40 million aircraft, which combines the fuselage of the Next Generation 737-700 with the wing and landing gear of the larger and heavier 737-800. The largest single customer so far is Woodvale, New Jersey-based Executive Jet, which has secured a $1 billion order for nine BBJs, for its Netjets fractional ownership programme, with an option to acquire an additional 16. The first is scheduled for delivery in January 2000. Around 25% of the BBJs sold so far have been to governments

Despite the threat of global recession, the outlook for the ultra-long range business jet market, which includes the Gulfstream V and Bombardier's Global Express, is bright. Boeing forecasts sales of 600 aircraft over the next 10 years and aims for a 40% share, totalling 24 aircraft a year.

Source: Flight International