Boeing BBJ All photos by Benet J. Wilson
I had the chance to take a tour of a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) that was on static display at EBACE last week. The BBJ is currently owned by New York-based CIT Group.
The aircraft, which went into service in 2002, was used by former Boeing Chairman Phil Condit through 2005. The company spent $37.5 million on the interior and it was completed by Jet Aviation in Basel, said CIT Vice President Robert Schaeberle, who is handling the sale.
Condit’s wife was very involved with designing the interior change, said Schaeberle. "It reminds me of a private English club, with the wing back chairs and the leather," he said.
BBJ sitting room
The aircraft has two showers aboard, fore and aft. There’s a dedicated stateroom that has space for an office and sleeping. The aircraft has 14 certified seats, but can seat 19. CIT can work with a buyer or lessor to certify the aircraft for 19. In the rear stateroom, the bed can fold into the wall and more seats can be added. There's also a sitting room with a flat-screen TV and a conference room.
If a customer likes the interior but wants different colors, CIT is working with West Star Aviation to change the soft goods, like carpet, leather and headliners, for between $1.65 million and $2 million.
BBJ conference room
It was leased to a Russian client for three years and it came off lease in November 2009, said Schaeberle. Since then, it has had major maintenance work done and the exterior of the aircraft has been refurbished, he said.
"We've also had major modification SFAR-88 and a fuel tank modification to five external fuel tanks on the plane," said Schaeberle.
BBJ state room
The plane’s price is $45 million, said Schaeberle. "But one of the advantages CIT has is that we can sell or lease the aircraft," he added.
The next available slot for a BBJ isn’t until October 2010, and that aircraft will cost $53 million green, with 1-1.5 years for completion, said Schaeberle. “You’ll spend another $20 million minimum to complete the aircraft.”
CIT is letting buyers know that they can buy this aircraft now, use it for a time and sell it for what was paid, said Schaeberle. “We have West Star Aviation at EBACE to speak with clients about completion of this aircraft,” he added.
Schaeberle told me last week that he had at least a dozen people who committed to come see the plane at EBACE, and the most likely customer will be from Eastern Europe, Russia or the Middle East.