Bombardier has designed high-density seating layouts for the Global Express after receiving interest in using the large-cabin business jet as a transatlantic corporate shuttle. "There has been a lot of talk about corporate shuttles after the demise of Concorde," says James Hoblyn, vice-president Bombardier Business Aircraft.

The company has proposed an 18-seat shuttle interior to at least one customer, a Swiss corporation, Hoblyn says. Gulfstream is talking to the same customers, says president Bryan Moss, but does not see the corporate shuttle requirement as a priority. Dassault says it is not pursing the market, although it has delivered one 19-seat Falcon 900.

Bombardier came close to launching a 19-seat transatlantic airliner version of its long-range business jet in 2001, but interest in the so-called Global Connector waned after the 11 September terror attacks, says Hoblyn. To meet Part 121 commercial-airline regulations, he says, the Connector would require additional overwing emergency exits that are not needed on the 18-seat corporate shuttle currently being discussed.

"We looked at stretching the aircraft, and it is possible, but we do not need it," Hoblyn says. Eighteen passengers, plus three crew, is a "comfortable limit" for the Global Express. One possible high-density layout has three club groupings each with six seats in a two-plus-one abreast arrangement.


Source: Flight International