Private aviation has experienced a sharp growth – and with it, the number of competing jet companies offering to take the ultra-rich and senior executives across the world. Among those, bizliners – commercial airliners converted to private aircraft – offer the ultimate private sky office, with notably the likes of Air Force One (none other than a Boeing 747-200B). Originally intended as commercial airplanes, their considerably bigger cabin volume and reliability allow passengers to truly work from anywhere.
Boeing had its first private jet roll-out in 1998 with a high-performance derivative of its 737-700 aircraft. It was the first commercial airline to join the business jet market, preceding its current biggest competitor Airbus Corporate Jets. Since then, it has significantly expanded its fleet, with eight of its private airplanes featured in Elite Traveler’s Top Jets.
What are the advantages of Boeing Business Jets?
It is no news that Boeing is one of the leading aviation companies – and that comes with a number of benefits for its business jets branch. The main advantage of repurposing commercial planes is they offer the features they would for 400 passengers for groups that are one-tenth that size. In this way, the cabin space of Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) is considerably bigger than an average private jet, allowing for greater luggage and passenger capacity.
The original function of BBJs as airliners makes them the private jets with the furthest range, which provides them with the possibility to travel enormous distances (up to any two cities across the world) without needing to refuel, thereby crucially cutting down the travel time. Designed to last decades, BBJs are also particularly reliable, making flying – and working – more secure and productive.
BBJs are some of the most spacious jets on the market, allowing enough room for meeting spaces – there is, of course, high-speed Wifi on board – and conference lounges. Some of the jets are even equipped with noise reduction systems for the most tranquil and profitable experience.
But BBJs’ grandiosity also lies in the looks. Interior design is at the forefront of the experience for BBJ flyers. Most Boeing jets have customizable cabins, allowing passengers to design the jet that best fits their needs and preferences. In October 2023, BBJ announced the launch of BBJ Select, its new streamlined design process that allows customers of the BBJ 737-7 to select a pre-designed cabin layout from 144 different options. This addition to their already state-of-the-art interiors pushes the office in the sky to a home-away-from-home level.
Will Dent, the chief marketing officer at private aviation consultancy firm Elevate Aviation Group (EAG), told Elite Traveler: “BBJs are more than just a means of travel; they are bespoke sanctuaries in the skies.”
EAG transforms BBJs into anything customers need, from tranquil retreats for the global touring industry to family homes in the clouds and mobile boardrooms.
While a recurrent downside of BBJs is their limited access to smaller airports due to their big size, Dent says it is far from a constraint. He said: “It’s a chance for us to highlight the exceptional features of our BBJs that cater to our clients’ comfort and well-being during the flight. This commitment to in-flight comfort and tranquility ensures that when [BBJ flyers] disembark, they are not just at their destination but also at their best.”
What are the best Boeing Business Jets?
Elite Traveler’s extensive index of the top private jet models on the market references no fewer than eight BBJs out of a total of 80 jets. These are some of the very best Boeing Business Jets:
Boeing BBJ 747-8
The BBJ 747-8 is the world’s largest private jet and can fly up to 100 passengers far enough to travel from any two cities in the world without stopping to refuel. With two decks, there is a huge range of options for the customizable interior design of the aircraft, including luxurious staircases, showers and TVs, as well as staff rooms and conference lounges.
Boeing BBJ 787-9
Boeing’s 787-9 model was the first aircraft to connect London and Sydney without stopping. Its long-range capability as well as its state-of-the-art insulation systems make the onboard experience optimal and quiet.
Boeing BBJ Max 7
BBJ Max 7 is the smallest of the BBJ Max series, but it is also the one with the longest range and the lowest running costs. Despite being the cheapest of Boeing business jets, the Max 7 has a 100% customizable cabin that will easily make flyers feel at home.
Boeing BBJ 777-9
The BBJ 777-9 is the larger sister of the BBJ 777-8, with no less than 3,689 sq ft of customizable interior. It can fly over 11,500 nm without refueling with up to 75 passengers on board, making it the longest range private jet on the market.
How much do Boeing Business Jets cost?
With owners of BBJs including the likes of actor John Travolta, singer Drake, and the US government, it should come as no surprise that they are particularly exclusive as a means of transportation.
With the option for customizable interiors, the price ranges vary incredibly. However, according to Elite Traveler’s Top Jets index, most BBJs are at the upper end of the range, with operating costs usually above $5,000 per hour.
When it comes to buying a BBJ, the cheapest models are listed at $89m, with prices growing significantly with bespoke interiors and larger planes – the BBJ 747-8, for example, is listed at $367m, according to Corporate Jet Investor.