Mark Hannant

BBJ flies 6,000nm, non-stop, from Geneva to deliver BBJ's vice-president sales to the show.

The Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) has made a double debut at Asian Aerospace 2000 - two aircraft have arrived at the show, the first time a BBJ has been seen at a Singapore show.

One flew non-stop from Geneva, a flight of some 6,000nm (11,000km), to deliver Manfred Schindler, BBJ's vice-president sales to the show. "A perfect trip," was his comment as he stepped off the aircraft 12h and 45min after leaving Geneva.

The aircraft, delivered to an unspecified client in October last year, was flown by chief pilot William Christophe who has already put it through its paces with a round-the-world trip.

Over the millennium period he piloted the BBJ from Geneva via Bangkok, Cairns in Australia and Sydney - where he and the 14 passengers saw the spectacular millennium firework celebrations - Tahiti, Van Nuys outside Los Angeles, and a final 11h leg to Geneva.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to test the aircraft on a full business trip," says Christophe. "Everything ran perfectly."

The aircraft, a 737-700 body with 737-800 wings and nine auxiliary fuel tanks fitted, was outfitted by Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland.


Asian Aerospace 2000 is the first time the public has been invited inside a fully-fitted BBJ, and very impressive it is. This aircraft is configured for 18 passengers who travel in superb comfort and is fitted with a remarkably spacious galley to the rear.

The second BBJ on show here is owned by Michael Chowdry, chairman of Atlas Air. It was also delivered last October. There are currently five BBJs in operation.

At $36 million for a green BBJ, it competes on price with the Gulfstream V but as Schindler points out, offers around 2.5 times the space. The BBJ-2 now in development, which offers a further 20ft in length, will probably be well received in the Middle East where large loads on business trips are the norm.

Having two BBJs on display is a sign of the confidence Boeing Business Jets has in the regional economic recovery. "The last couple of years have been tough for the region," says Schindler. "All the intelligence we are seeing indicates that the economic upturn is sustainable.

"That means there are opportunities for the BBJ in the region. Its range means it's ideal for business users in the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore is a crucial hub for the whole area."

Source: Flight Daily News