In an effort to help trim $1-billion in operating costs this year, Research In Motion Ltd. is selling the smaller of its two private jets. The struggling BlackBerry maker's plane, which is a Dassault Falcon 50EX made in 1999, may have been sold for a price of roughly $6-million (U.S.) to $7-million (as originally reported by Bloomberg).
According to the public government aircraft registry, there is a 1999 Falcon 50 jet registered to a numbered company (which appears to be owned by RIM in some SEC documents ) in the Kitchener Waterloo region. It's tagged with the mark C-GXBB (BB for BlackBerry, perhaps?) and the company imported and registered it in 2005. For security reasons, RIM couldn't officially confirm whether these numbers match its aircraft.
Thanks to plane spotters around the world, there are plenty of images of this jet on the tarmac – even one at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Its RIM-blue stripes are noticeable, but the little Canadian flag on the tip of the rudder truly gives the aircraft away.
Curious to see inside? An ad for a 50EX plane built in 1999 recently appeared on the pre-owned section of the Dassault Falcon website. This isn't the exact jet that former co-chief executive officers Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie spent their glory days soaring around in – the serial number doesn't match up – but it's likely not far off. The price is listed as $5,900,000.
From the nine available pictures on the website it appears that there is a lot of shiny wood panelling and mirrors inside – giving the jet a sort of nautical look. The large leather seats are a buff-beige colour and most of the interior hardware is golden.
RIM's official statement on the matter notes that the company is looking at ways to "reduce our travel while still making sure we keep in close contact with our partners around the world." There's just one private jet left in the stable now, so time is running out for interested parties to purchase a memento of RIM's glory days.