DALLAS — Lufthansa Technik unveils its state-of-the-art cabin concept for Boeing’s BBJ 777-9 as the president of Boeing Business Jets announced at the EBACE event that his team successfully secured orders and commitments for the sale of four VVIP-configured BBJs this year.
The cabin design of the BBJ 777-9, previously known as the BBJ 777X aircraft, fully utilizes the extensive space available and emphasizes multi-functionality. The design combines features, space, and comfort. It also seamlessly blends traditional elements of Middle Eastern cultural heritage with a modern touch.
A New Cabin Experience from Front to Back
A highlight is the VVIP section located at the front, featuring an expandable and functional private bedroom. The details of this design will be unveiled later in the year. A spacious office and reception area separate the private section from the rest of the aircraft. The cabin also includes a generously sized majlis, designed to seamlessly flow throughout the entire space.
The rear of the cabin has been designed to cater to the needs of official missions, offering stylish and convenient transportation for entourage delegations. The cabin incorporates a special lighting and window shade concept. This creates an ambiance that resembles a personal living room rather than an aircraft flying at 30,000 feet.
This is especially important for an ultra-long-range aircraft. Notably, this cabin design is the first of its kind to be developed using accurate aircraft data provided by Boeing.
Comments on BBJ 777-9 New Cabin, First Purchase Commitment
“We are excited to provide a sneak peek into the new VIP cabin design for the BBJ 777-9,” commented Jan Grube, Sales Director in VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik. “Our team’s goal was to create a cabin that combines functionality and beauty, tailored to meet the unique requirements of our VIP clients in the Middle East. We are confident that this cabin design will set a new benchmark in VIP aviation, and we eagerly anticipate its introduction to the market.”
Throughout the year, additional sections of the concept will be gradually revealed. Lufthansa Technik will showcase an animated film and initial visual materials during this year’s EBACE exhibition.
Boeing Business Jets president, Joe Benson, noted the diversity of their orders, with each model from the BBJ aircraft family represented in the orders and commitments received.
Boeing has received orders for three BBJs in 2023, including a BBJ 737-7. The four BBJ commitments obtained this year consist of an order for one BBJ 737-7 and two BBJ 787s.
Additionally, another customer has secured an option to purchase a BBJ 777-9. While Boeing has chosen not to disclose the identities of the customers, it is known that buyers of large BBJs like the 777-9 are typically governments that utilize the aircraft for head-of-state transportation.
Type Certification Still in Progress
The certification for both the Boeing 737-7 and the 777-9, upon which the BBJs are based, is still pending. Boeing anticipates that the narrowbody will be cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this year, while the widebody certification is expected in 2025.
The BBJ 777-9 will offer over 300 square meters (3,229 square feet) of cabin space and can fly to any destination worldwide, according to Boeing’s marketing director, Alexis Fecteau.
Fecteau also noted that business jet traffic in Europe has experienced an 8% decline, compared to 2022 but remains 6% higher than the levels recorded in 2019. This observation leads them to believe that the positive trend in business jet usage will persist, as once individuals experience the benefits of private travel, it becomes difficult to return to other options.
He further highlighted the cost advantages of a BBJ 737 compared to dedicated business jets like large-cabin Gulfstreams, emphasizing the significant economies of scale achieved through the commercial success of the Boeing 737.
The Return of Luxury Air Travel?
Though not commercial, as we prepare a special post on the ‘Coach Lounge Wars’ from the early ’70s, the new Lufthansa Technik BBJ cabin concept reminded us of a time when TWA installed a lounge in some of their domestic Boeing 707s.
It was located in the middle of the cabin and had two 3 abreast seats that faced one another. A small bar was present, but it wasn’t really designed for standing. The coach cabin’s beverage service made use of it. The lounge divided the cabin in half, removing the tube effect and generating an air of luxury that was reminiscent of the old flying boats.
Last March, Lufthansa (LH) revealed its new First Class offering –the “Suite Plus” aka “private flying room,” as part of its “Allegris” long-haul cabin upgrades. The suite features a double bed, a door that shuts completely, and floor-to-ceiling privacy walls. Over 80 of LH’s new Boeing 787-9, Airbus A350, and Boeing 777-9 planes will feature the “Allegris” cabins, among other aircraft.
Will any of the new cabin design features unveiled by Lufthansa Technik today trickle down to business or economy class on long-range commercial aircraft? Be sure to leave your comments on our social media channels, and, if you experienced the “Coach Lounge Wars” in the early ’70s, do share your stories with us.
Featured image: Lufthansa Technik