Altitude Aerospace Interiors today welcomed the first new Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) into its Christchurch-based completion facility following a non-stop delivery flight from Los Angeles to Auckland.
The Boeing 737-700 aircraft is what's known as a 'green' aircraft; direct from the Boeing factory without interior or external paintwork beyond the green protective coating. The aircraft has been modified for VIP use and has been fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks to give it extended range. It made the 10,470 kilometre non-stop trip to New Zealand in just over 13 hours.
The BBJ aircraft will now be positioned at Altitude's Christchurch base for the next 10 months where it will receive a full VIP custom interior complete with the latest in-flight entertainment and communication systems before being handed over to the undisclosed overseas owner. The exterior of the aircraft will also be custom painted.
Altitude's Head of Business - VIP Aircraft Matthew Woollaston says the VIP interior completion has been two years in planning and preparation.
"The Altitude team has worked tirelessly over the past year to prepare their facilities and suppliers and to design and engineer an interior that meets our customer's exacting standards. It will be hugely exciting to finally see all this hard work and creativity come to fruition over the coming months."
A dedicated team of experts from Altitude and the Technical Operations division of Altitude's parent company Air New Zealand will work together to achieve the transformation from green aircraft to customised private jet.
Altitude General Manager Michael Pervan says the company is enjoying a period of significant growth in demand for its services on both the VIP and Airlines sides of its business.
"Since entering the BBJ completion field and achieving some significant successes in the commercial airline side of our business we have been able to grow and expand our operation. In just over two years, the Altitude team has doubled in size from 55 permanent employees to almost 100 engineering, design and programme staff, and we continue to welcome more high calibre individuals into the team.
"A solid team of skilled experts coupled with strong links to a network of the world's best service providers, including Air New Zealand's 800 strong Technical Operations team, means Altitude is well positioned to meet the increasing demand for its services," says Mr Pervan.