From: email@example.com (Terrell D. Drinkard) Date: 17 Jan 94 01:33:50 PST Organization: Boeing Commercial Airplane Group
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Given the interest in Air Force One, and perhaps in other VIP uses of heavy jet transports I thought I'd relate what little I've picked up over the last couple of years. Boeing does not usually do the interiors. We do a great job of commercial airplane interior development, but lack that special something required to do a really high-level VIP interior. We can do them, don't get me wrong, but the third party companies can do a much plusher job for less money. I know, I've seen photos of both, and if I were King of Siam, I'd buy third party stuff. Especially once I saw the price Boeing would have to charge just to break even on the job. (But then if you are concerned about how much it costs, then maybe you can't afford it.) :-) The 757 and the 737 are becoming increasingly popular as State VIP aircraft because of the lower cost of acquisition and operation. The status of owning a 747 apparently isn't compensation enough for the increased costs in these budgetarily difficult times. The better field performance of the twins are advantageous when flying out of those high-hot airports so common in South America (La Paz, Bogata, etc). I don't have any numbers to support this, but I'd guess that the 767 is also experiencing a relative surge in VIP sales. VIP sales are rare. Not very many airplanes are needed in this role, certainly not in the larger sizes. Another personal opinion here, but I'd guess that the major airframers don't like to do VIP airplanes because it disrupts the factory (it really does, you'd have to work there to really understand why). This leads to airframers not really pursuing VIP sales except during cyclic downturns. Like now. :-) I have gotten a chance to work a couple of VIP sales campaigns, and I can tell you from experience that they are way different from a regular commercial sales effort (not more or less, just different emphasis). One last thing: I love this business! You guys get out there and buy more tickets so my customers can make a buck and buy more airplanes! Thanks in advance. :-) -- Terry firstname.lastname@example.org "Anyone who thinks they can hold the company responsible for what I say has more lawyers than sense."