NBAA Convention News

Airbus ACJ sales target private, charter markets

 - November 8, 2006, 6:29 AM

Airbus announced sales of corporate jetliners to two Europe-based aviation companies–Jetalliance and Boutsen Aviation–here yesterday. The sales represent two sides of the expanding market for extra-large cabin corporate aircraft: first, once dormant charter markets are quickly waking to the need and benefits of long-range aircraft with expansive interiors. Second, more private owners are finding traditional long-range executive aircraft too cramped for comfort. For these customers, Airbusoffers its ACJ (Airbus Corporate Jetliner) family, comprising (in ascending order of size) the A318 Elite, ACJ and A320 Prestige. Their cabins are about twice as wide and three times the volume of the largest cabin business jets.

Jetalliance Flugbetriebs AG, the Austrian charter operator, ordered two Airbus A318 Elite corporate jetliners to serve a growing customer base in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, many of whom need an aircraft with transatlantic range. “There’s strong demand in Russia and also lots of customers in Central Europe. And demand in the United Arab Emirates is very strong,” said Alexander Vagacs, Jetalliance CEO, adding, “[The A318] offers great cabin size and great value; it’s not comparable to any other business jet on the market.”

Monaco-based Boutsen Aviation, an aircraft brokerage, ordered two ACJs for undisclosed private customers who were looking for business jets for comfortable long-range flights. Company president Thierry Boutsen, a former Formula 1 race car driver and three-time Grand Prix winner, said his team evaluated the Boeing Business Jet, Global Express and Gulfstream G550 before selecting the ACJs.

“We convinced our customers to choose the ACJ to cover their travel needs,” Boutsen said.