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A First For LBA - Can't Wait To See It.

Tue Sep 11, 2001 8:57 pm

The boardroom of the future is coming to Bradford - but the $60 million luxury Boeing BBJ2, fitted with every conceivable mod con, is not your average aeroplane.

Complete with a digital quality widescreen cinema and its own gym, the aircraft has been designed to act as a fully functioning flying conference room.

The largest specialist corporate jet in production, the arrival of the BBJ2 at Leeds-Bradford International Airport this month will be a UK first.

And David Hood, founder and chairman of Yeadon-based company Multiflight, can hardly wait to take delivery of his new `baby'.

He said: "The aircraft will have a typical range of 5,400 miles and we will be able to fly our clients anywhere in the world with a maximum of just two fuel stops.

"This plane can be classed as a flying hotel or boardroom, and can act as a ground conference centre at its destination."

After being fitted with its no-expenses-spared interior, the jet will provide an incredibly spacious meeting and sleeping area for just 19 passengers.

For the fees of £8,000-£10,000 an hour for the plane, guests will have access to a master bedroom, a private office, two lounges, an exercise area and a couple of bathrooms.

An extra large galley area is even being installed so that fresh food can be cooked to restaurant standards on board.

Managing director Steve Borrowdale explained why Multiflight, which was formed in 1994, has opted for the Rolls Royce of the air.

He said: "We already have a chartered operation using a Falcon 900, and this is an extension of our fleet to cater for changing market forces.

"Nelson Mandela flew into Yorkshire on the Falcon earlier this year, and we'll be looking for similar clients for the BBJ2 - heads of state, corporate companies, and so on."

A wide choice of movies and music will be available at each seat, along with telephone, fax and Internet access.

Mr Hood, also the founder of Bradford's Pace Micro Technology, has gone to great lengths to ensure passengers opting for a film will have a truly cinematic experience.

"We are using a radical new method of distributing the audio and video and the quality will be as one would expect in a multi-million dollar aircraft," he said.

The unfinished BBJ2 is due to fly into Yorkshire on September 27, before heading off again to a specialist fitting centre in Germany to be equipped with all of its luxurious features.

Multiflight hopes to start offering long-range luxury chartered flights with the plane by November next year