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Frontiers August 2014 Issue

In a small office tucked away on the Boeing Field flight line in Seattle, a team of Commercial Airplanes employees works every day to satisfy the unique, and sometimes whimsical, requirements of some of Boeing’s most secretive and influential customers— Boeing Business Jet owners. Depending on the owner’s specifications, customized jets known as BBJs may be outfitted with everything from luxury bathrooms to glossy conference tables. For jumbo 747s, private elevators are an option. One client turned his airplane interior into a spacious gathering room centered around a golden throne. “BBJ is a boutique business,” said Steve Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets and a pilot licensed on every current Commercial Airplanes model. He often delivers the airplanes personally. “Every customer is different and has unique needs for their aircraft.” The clientele for these private jets includes some of the world’s most influential people, from Fortune 500 CEOs to heads of state. Unlike Boeing’s airline customers, who use their fleets to generate revenue, private-jet owners are looking for the ultimate in comfort and convenience, whether they use their airplane for business or pleasure. In China, many BBJ operators are business owners who require more passenger capability than Western business owners, because they usually travel with larger groups of employees, said Taylor. Heads of state, on the other hand, require the space, flexibility and security to conduct government business while flying. BBJ’s business model reflects these PHOTOS: (Right) Carlos Horan and Amy Wisch review customer plans on board a BBJ. BOB FERGUSON/BOEING (Insets, from left) A family room setup on board a BBJ; a shower in a stateroom. BOEING 16 Frontiers August 2014


Frontiers August 2014 Issue
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