Boeing Business Jets today announced the first delivery of a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) to a customer in Latin America. Grupo Omnilife S.A. de C.V. took delivery of the green (no paint or interior) BBJ on May 31. The BBJ will be incorporated into the company's existing fleet and managed by subsidiary Omniflys, to support the extensive international travel needs of Grupo Omnilife.
"We chose the BBJ over its competition due to the excellent customer attention and dedication we received during the negotiation process," said Jorge Vergara, Grupo Omnilife chairman. "Boeing Business Jets showed a keen understanding of our company philosophy and needs. The BBJ will allow us to work more efficiently as a team when we travel to locations in North and South America as well as Europe and Asia, and enable us to expand our business tenfold."
Boeing Business Jets President Borge Boeskov said the delivery is a great step forward for Boeing Business Jets.
"In cooperation with Grupo Omnilife, we are entering one of the most important markets in Latin America - Mexico," Boeskov said. "This is just the start of many ventures in the region to come. As Mr. Vergara notes, the BBJ really does make its owners more productive."
The Grupo Omnilife BBJ will be completed at Associated Air Center in Dallas and should enter service in the first quarter of 2002.
Omnilife, founded in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1991 by Vergara and his wife Maricruz Zatarian, is a group of companies offering diverse products and services. Its main business, Omnitrition de Mexico, is dedicated to the development, production and distribution of food and nutritional products. Grupo Omnilife employs 1,500 people worldwide.
Designed for corporate and VIP applications, the BBJ is a special, high-performance derivative of the Next-Generation 737-700. The addition of auxiliary fuel tanks provides owners with a business jet platform having a maximum range capability of 6,200 nautical miles (11,480 kilometers), while requiring less than 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) of runway.
With cruising speeds of up to .82 Mach - equivalent to a ground speed of 550 miles per hour (870 kilometers per hour) - the BBJ can serve such routes as Los Angeles to London or Paris, New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina, or London to Johannesburg, South Africa. The same CFM56-7 engines used on the Next-Generation 737 commercial airplanes power the BBJ.
The BBJ 2, announced in October 1999, is based on the 737-800. It has 25 percent more interior space and twice the luggage space of the BBJ. Production of the first BBJ 2 began in September 2000, and the first two airplanes delivered "green" in March 2001.
The BBJ and BBJ 2 provide unsurpassed levels of space, comfort and utility and are backed by a top-notch product support program with dedicated field service representatives around the world.
Boeing Business Jets is a joint venture with General Electric launched in July 1996 to respond to market demand for a larger, more capable business airplane that can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles (11,110 kilometers). Since the program's inception, there have been 56 "green" BBJs delivered, and currently there are 32 completed BBJs in service.