Boeing and PrivatAir Signal New Era with Barnstorming Tour of 30 Cities in Boeing Business Jet
It was a barnstorming and attention-getting tour that spanned 30 cities, three continents, and 48,000 miles (nearly twice the circumference of the earth). It included 19 press conferences and twice that number of demo flights in 40 days. And it proved one thing beyond doubt: A new era has dawned in executive jet travel - with the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) and PrivatAir in the forefront of a true revolution in comfort, productivity and value.
Boeing and Geneva-based PrivatAir, the world's biggest and most successful private chartered airline, have successfully concluded a Grand Tour of Europe and the Middle East that began in Geneva on March 13. Stops along the way included (in this order): Marrakech, London, Geneva, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Paris, Leeds, Fez, London, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne, Vienna, Munich, Milan, Geneva, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, London, Dubai, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Dubai, London, Kiev, Moscow and Geneva.
"We had an absolutely fantastic response everywhere we went," said James Hay, PrivatAir Commercial director. "There are three things about the BBJ that people find truly amazing. The first is all the space and comfort in an executive jet. Second is the range of more than 6,000 nautical miles. And the third is the affordability. With the most super-deluxe service in the aviation world, PrivatAir can fly a group of 20 people nonstop from London to New York, and back again three days later, for the same per person price of commercial airline business-class tickets."
The brand-new BBJ, delivered to PrivatAir with completed interior on March 10, performed beautifully, with 100-percent dispatch reliability on the tour.
"I like to say there's no substitute for being there, and certainly, there is no substitute for bringing people on board a BBJ, so they can see for themselves what we mean when we say the BBJ is an essential tool for doing business on a global scale," said Borge Boeskov, president of Boeing Business Jets, who accompanied the tour to a number of destinations.
"The size of the platform allows business leaders to have everything they need aboard the airplane as they do business around the world: sleeping space, eating space, meeting space, communications equipment, everything you have at home that you also need in the business travel environment."
As recounted in the trip diary that may found at Boeing's web site, there was keen media and customer interest at every stop along the tour. As one entry in the diary noted: "There is extraordinary appeal in the idea that multi-destination, long-distance travel can combine the highest comfort, the greatest efficiency, total integrity (i.e. no need to break up the group at any point) and excellent economics. That's the Boeing/PrivatAir story - and it's one that is greeted with a combination of amazement and excitement everywhere we go." A brief account of another notable flying tour (undertaken by Charles Lindbergh after his historic flight across the Atlantic) may be found in the entry for March 24 - when the BBJ was parked at Le Bourget Airport in Paris.
The Boeing Business Jet is a high-performance derivative of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-700. It combines the size of the 737-700 fuselage (110 feet 4 inches, 33.6 meters) with strengthened wings and landing gear from the larger and heavier 737-800. This tailored combination provides owners with a business jet platform that has a range of 7,140 statute miles (6,200 nautical miles, 11,480 kilometers) and payload flexibility beyond that of any competitor.
The airplane cruises at speeds up to .82 Mach, equivalent to a ground speed of 550 miles per hour, and can serve such routes as New York to Tokyo and London to Johannesburg. It is powered by the same CFM56-7 engines used on the Next-Generation 737 commercial airplanes, the world's most popular airliner. CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma of France, produces the engines.
With an 807-square-foot passenger cabin, the Boeing Business Jet has nearly three times as much space as the largest existing executive jets. The interior can accommodate a variety of configurations with space for conference rooms, executive offices and individual work areas that exactly match a customer's personal work and travel preferences.
Announced orders for the BBJ stand at 56 as of October 1999.