Airbus Corporate Jets Shifts Focus in Russia
After a period of strong bizliner sales in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Airbus Corporate Jets has somewhat lowered its expectations for the region. Speaking today on the eve the opening of Jet Expo 2011 at Vnokovo 3 in Moscow, Airbus Corporate Jets vice president of worldwide sales Francois Chazelle attributed this shift to the worldwide economic crisis, which has hit Russia harder than some other countries. “Business jets were selling better here in 2008,” he told AIN. Chazelle said eight ACJs are currently operating in the region, including a pair of ACJ319s operated by the Russian government’s Special Air Detachment and a VIP-configured ACJ319 that was recently delivered to the Ukrainian government. As for his marketing strategy in the region, Chazelle said Airbus will devote more energy toward selling bizliners to corporate and private clients–a marked change from the past focus on government sales. At Jet Expo this week, Airbus will be displaying a Comlux ACJ318, an aircraft that is among the 15 ACJs available for charter flights in Europe. Airbus has sold a total of 170 ACJs, including 110 single-aisle and 60 widebodies, and delivered about 100 of the bizliners to date, he said. Last year, the French aircraft manufacturer delivered 15 ACJs worth $1.5 billion.