Boeing 777X private jet can fly more than 20,000km non-stop, connect any two cities

Boeing has unveiled a new jet capable of connecting "virtually any two cities in the world".

The BBJ 777X from Boeing Business Jets can fly more than halfway around the world without stopping, further than any business jet ever built.

The jet is based on the popular long-range Boeing 777, typically used by commercial airlines, including Virgin Australia, for long-haul flights.

The new business jet comes in two variants, the 777-8 and 777-9. Both offer a range of more than 20,000 kilometres – far enough to easily fly from Australia's east coast cities to London or New York non-stop.

This means these jets would be capable of performing the flights Qantas wants to achieve as part of its Project Sunrise – the airline is aiming to have non-stop flights from Australia's east coast to London and New York by 2022.

See also: Qantas flags on-board exercise zone, cafe for ultra-long haul flights

Unfortunately for Qantas, these planes won't be able to make these distances as commercial flights. One reason the BBJ 777X jets can fly so far is that, as private jets, they won't be weighed down by hundreds of passengers, luggage and cargo.

At present, no commercial aircraft from Boeing or Airbus can make the distances Qantas requires. Airbus has indicated it believes its Airbus A350-900ULR (for "ultra long range") might be able to fly the routes with some adjustments.

See also: Airbus pitches A350 for non-stop Australia to London flights

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Greg Laxton, head of Boeing Business Jets, said the company's "exclusive customers" wanted to be able to fly non-stop to their destinations and do so in comfort.

The new jets offer 302.5 square metres (777-8) and 342.7 square metres (777-9) of cabin space, allowing a wide range of interior design options for well-heeled clients. Boeing provided a range of concept images showing how the interiors could be fitted out. The designs from Greenpoint Technologies, Jet Aviation, and Unique Aircraft Design offer features like large living rooms and bedrooms, dining tables and meeting rooms and huge bathrooms.

Take a look inside in the photo gallery above.

So who would fly on such an extravagant aircraft? Since it launched more than 22 years ago, Boeing Business Jets has delivered just 234 planes and received 261 orders. The company tends to keep the names of its clients secret (they don't call them private jets for nothing), but it is believed many of its clients can be found in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz famously travels the world in a private 747 jumbo jet that features a gold escalator for disembarking. Boeing launched the new plane at the biennial Middle East Business Aviation Association Show. 

Perhaps another potential client is rapper Kanye West, who last month flew from the US to Japan on board a rented, private 747. Wife Kim Kardashian showed off the plane on her Instagram account.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

oh, must be nice

A post shared by Kim Kardashian Snapchat 🍑 (@kimkardashiansnap) on

Non-stop, ultra-long haul flights are becoming increasingly popular with airlines as more efficient aircraft become available. In March, Qantas launched the first non-stop flights from Perth to London, while in October Singapore Airlines restarted the world's longest non-stop flight route from Singapore to New York. Singapore Airlines flies the Airbus A350-900ULR on the route.

Just this month Air New Zealand's longest ever flight route took off with non-stop flights from Auckland to Chicago. New Zealand is also home to two of the world's longest flight routes: Qatar Airways' Auckland-Doha (second longest) and Emirates' Auckland-Dubai (fourth).

The BBJ 777-8's maximum flight range is 21,570 kilometres, while the larger 777-9's is 20,370 kilometres. To put that in perspective, the circumference of the Earth is about 40,000 kilometres.

The world's longest commercial flights

  1. Singapore-Newark (New York) 15,344km
  2. Doha-Auckland, Qatar Airways, 14,529km
  3. London-Perth, Qantas, 14,496km (Read Traveller's flight review)
  4. Dubai-Auckland, Emirates, 14,200km
  5. Los Angeles-Singapore, United Airlines, 14,113km
  6. Houston-Sydney, United Airlines, 13,833km
  7. Sydney-Dallas, Qantas, 13,804km
  8. New York-Manila, Philippine Airlines 13,712km
  9. San Francisco-Singapore, United Airlines & Singapore Airlines, 13,592km
  10. Atlanta-Johannesburg, Delta, 13,581km

See also: Hour by hour: My epic trip on board the world's longest flight

See also: Airline review: Qantas Perth to London, non-stop

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