Record time 787-8 transition for a new VVIP aircraft owner

When a pre-owned 787-8 airplane needed a quick transformation into a VVIP jet to help a new owner get it ready to fly, Boeing teams stepped up to find a way to get it done right, and in record time.

COMLUX, a leading business aviation service provider, came to Boeing with the challenge to help their customer, a private aircraft owner with a 787-8 they had just acquired from a secondary market, ready the airplane for entry into service.

As their first priority, the unnamed VVIP jet owner, who is also a type-rated 787 pilot, wanted to have the airplane certified and ready to fly as quickly as possible and to support planned humanitarian aid flights.

The COMLUX team requested training support and advice from Boeing. Adding to the challenge in working a plan to prepare the airplane for entry into service was the need to complete this effort while working in a virtual environment, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Several Boeing teams jumped into action, including the Aviation Business Solutions team that routinely works with airlines and other airplane operators to analyze data and processes, and find the right solutions to improve efficiency in airplane operations.

An important element of preparing the airplane for transition involved “e-enabling” the customer operation, i.e., integrating the airplane into ground-based support systems. This also included transitioning data from the airplane and configuring it properly to its new on-ground information management network. This was not an easy task, and working in a fully virtual environment made it even more difficult.

“Because of COVID and international travel restrictions, this was a special situation where very complex engineering and airplane certification preparations and support had to be provided via detailed step by step instructions on virtual meetings and conference calls,” said Paul Woods, Aviation Business Solutions Managing Director. “Typically, we would have our engineers on site working side by side with the customer. In this situation, however, the customer had to send us screen shots of the airplane to help them troubleshoot issues. The Boeing team worked several long nights and weekends to complete the work.”

"I am delighted that we have successfully introduced to our fleet a 787-8 and the aircraft is already operating smoothly with a happy customer in command."
Chief Executive Officer, COMLUX Aviation

Andrea Zanetto

Several members of the team also shared instant messages with one another while on conference calls with the customer, to collect their combined knowledge in real-time to help solve the issue at hand.

Preparing a new production Boeing 787-8 airplane for service requires extensive support work with our customers. It usually takes numerous months to get through the process to obtain certification for placing a used aircraft with a new owner. With the help of the Boeing consulting and customer support teams working closely with the customer, execution of this comprehensive process was significantly more efficient.

Andrea Zanetto, Chief Executive Officer of COMLUX Aviation, commented, “I am delighted that we have successfully introduced to our fleet a 787-8 and the aircraft is already operating smoothly with a happy customer in command. I wish to congratulate the Boeing team for the outstanding work and achievement in supporting COMLUX to reach our goal on time and successfully.”

Overall, the Boeing Aviation Business Solutions team has many years of combined experience with Boeing, and many of these consultants have significant experience working directly for commercial airlines and military fleets in various roles. By working in parallel with other groups across Boeing, the valuable, collective experience and insights of the Boeing teammates made all the difference for this job well done.