Airbus Corporate Jets expects to achieve double-digit sales of its ACJ aircraft in 2012 and is on course to deliver at least as many as the 10 jets it delivered in 2011. The European airframer told a September 26 press conference in Moscow that it has now sold more than 170 aircraft in the business aviation market, including some 110 A320-family narrowbodies and 60 widebodies (A330s, A340s and A380s).
At this week’s Jet Expo show in Moscow, the European airframer is displaying an ACJ319 featuring an interior developed by French designer Alberto Pinto and completed by the Airbus Corporate Jet Center in Toulouse. The aircraft can carry up to 19 passengers with two lounge areas featuring club two and club four seats, as well as a bedroom, a pair of bathrooms with showers and a separate VIP area with seats that can fold out to make another bed.
The plush interior is expected to appeal to wealthy Russian prospects, but so too is the Phoenix interior concept that Airbus started developing mainly with Asian clients in mind in 2010. This design includes features such as a large round table suitable for in-flight parties and card games.
The next available ACJ green delivery slots are in late 2013 and early 2014. Meanwhile, although airlines will be the first to get the new optional, performance-enhancing sharklet wingtips, these will also be available on corporate jet models beginning next year, ACJ marketing director David Velupillai confirmed.
ACJ’s existing client base in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States includes the growing number of billionaires as well as corporations. Though not confirmed by Airbus, the Russian government’s Special Air Detachment has publicly acknowledged that it has ordered a pair of ACJ319s. There are also some 15 operators offering ACJs for charter in Russia.
Velupillai told reporters that notable achievements for 2012 include the fact that both the ACJ318 and ACJ319 types have now achieved Part 135 approval. Before reaching the Russian capital this week, the ACJ family has been on display at shows in every continent apart from Antarctica and Australasia, having been exhibited in locations as far afield as São Paulo, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Hyderabad (India), Dubai, South Africa, Geneva and the UK.