VIP Airbus ACJs on tap for Qatar ruling family

 - May 23, 2008, 6:09 AM

Qatar Airways is planning to use its new Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) to replace a pair of Falcon 900s used by the government and ruling family. It will also be operated on European summer-season VIP scheduled service to destinations such as London; Geneva; and Nice, France; as well as for charter or wet-lease operations in the winter.

With a load of 38 passengers, the aircraft has a range of 4,000 nm–sufficient to reach Europe, Africa and as far east as Singapore from Doha, Qatar–using its two auxiliary tanks. Senior government officials accustomed to flying short distances in the Falcon 900s are being encouraged to make use of Qatar Airways’ premium-class scheduled services.

An option held on a second aircraft may be converted to an order once the first ACJ has been proven in service, according to officials. In addition to the new ACJ, the Qatari ruling family is understood to have use of Airbus A310, A320, A340, and Boeing 747SP VIP aircraft.
A door in the ACJ divides the fuselage into two discrete cabins: a forward area with two sets of club-four seating and four individual seats, as well as larger rear accommodation containing two more club-fours and eight pairs of seats ahead of a crew area. The facing club seats can be converted into seven-foot flat beds, with other seats reclining to 55 deg.

To satisfy typical Middle East requirements, there is a generous provision for baggage in the forward and aft sections. In-flight entertainment is available through a mix of monitors and seatback or armrest-mounted screens.

In a medical-evacuation configuration, the ACJ can be fitted with an FAA-approved Serai Evasan air medical unit. The seat-rail-mounted equipment, which comprises a self-contained stretcher with a 1,700-gal (gaseous) oxygen supply, can be fitted in about an hour at the rear of the cabin in place of two crew seats and associated stowage space.