Boeing Business Jets is proposing versions of both the ultra-efficient 787 and the new 747-8 to potential VIP customers, BBJ president Steve Hill revealed here yesterday.
“We have a dozen 787 proposals out there, as well as our first for the 747-8,” he said. “The market is very interested in the 787, and the 747-8 forms part of our overall offer of VIP versions of all current Boeing models.”
Interest in VIP 787-8s and 9s is coming mainly from private individuals in Russia, the Middle East and elsewhere, Hill said. “We expect this to be the leading Boeing widebody product for the VIP market. Its range in particular is very impressive: from London you can go more or less anywhere you want except for New Zealand.”
The successful launch of the 787, which is building orders faster than any previous Boeing type, including the 737, means the earliest possible VIP delivery will not be until the third quarter of 2012. “There’s no pressure on this slot at the moment,” Hill said. “All the tightness in 787 availability is in 2010 and 2011.”
Price of a green aircraft, in 2005 dollars and depending on whether General Electric or Rolls-Royce power is selected, will be $142-144 million. That figure is expected to include the cabin ceiling and sidewalls and flightcrew rest facility. The latter will be installed above and behind the flightdeck, in the forward crown of the fuselage. There will also be an aft-located cabin crew rest facility, but this will not be included in the green price.
“We want all six of our completion centres to be ready, willing and able to complete 787s,” Hill said. “Jet Aviation is among the first to come up with interior concepts, but all six will be competing for 787 completion business.”
In the 787-10 Boeing is studying a further stretch of the 787-9. “At the moment it’s ‘no comment’ on a 787-10 for the VIP market,” said Hill.
Turning to the 747-8, the BBJ president said that first availability would be in 2010. “We’re not quite there yet on pricing, but we expect to be within the next two months.”
BBJ sales have now reached 108 aircraft. “When we launched in 1996 our corporate goal was to sell six aircraft a year,” Hill said. “I’m glad to be able to announce that we underestimated. Of the total, 40% has gone to private operators, 13% to corporates, 37% to governments and the rest to charter operators. Regionally, Europe, including Russia, has taken 19% - Russia is a very good market for us.”