Airbus (Booth No. 4776) announced here at the NBAA show that it has received 23 orders so far in 2008, including 14 for single-aisle models (five A318s and nine ACJs) and nine for widebodies (eight A350s and one A340). Many of these orders came from undisclosed customers, but Airbus did reveal the names of several buyers, including Jet Alliance (one ACJ and two A318 Elites) and Saudi Arabia-based MAZ Aviation (six A350s).
Airbus also announced that an ACJ featuring a VIP cabin is being displayed at the NBAA Convention for the first time. Operated by Comlux of Switzerland, the aircraft accommodates up to 19 passengers in a cabin incorporating a lounge, a dining room and a bedroom suite with shower-equipped bathroom.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based BAA Jet Management reported here that it has become the first company to operate an A318 Elite in Asia. The aircraft, which will be based in Shenzhen, China, will be available for charter and “will offer customers there something that they cannot get with other high-end business jets–much greater comfort, space and ease of movement around the cabin,” according to BAA sales and marketing director Jeffrey Lowe.
The A318 Elite, the newest and most affordable member of the Airbus ACJ family, seats 18 in several zones and offers a private office that converts to a bedroom. Technological features include centralized maintenance, weight-saving carbon fiber and fly-by-wire control.