Airbus launched an executive/VIP version of an A319 airliner in 1997 and, a decade later, the aircraft manufacturing giant (Booth No. 4339) is celebrating a milestone with more than 100 Airbus Corporate Jet sales, valued at $5.5 billion.
Originally just one model, the ACJ has onger A320 Prestige. In fact, the A318 is making its NBAA show debut here in Atlanta with the static display presence of the 18-passenger Elite delivered in May this year to Swiss charter operator Comlux.
Adding a little more bubble to the champagne atmosphere, Jet Alliance Group of Vienna has placed yet another ACJ order, adding to the charter operator’s earlier order for an ACJ and three A318 Elites. In addition, BAA Jet Management of Hong Kong has ordered an A318 Elite to join the ACJ it ordered earlier this year. “Our initial forecast was for annual sales in this category of twelve aircraft a year, of which we expected to win half,” said Airbus COO for customers John Leahy. “We’ve done rather better than that and we expect to do even better in the future.”
Leahy’s optimism appears to be justified, based on record sales so far this year of 29 ACJs, eight more than in all of 2006. Add to that sales thus far in 2007 of two wide-body executive/VIP A330s, four A340s and a giant A380 Flying Palace, and there is sufficient cause for celebration.