NBAA Convention News

Airbus readies 1st Airbus ACJ

 - June 18, 2008, 10:12 AM

Air France Industries is set to deliver its first completed Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) this month, with a second aircraft to leave its Toulouse, France completions center during the first quarter next year. Both ACJs are for undisclosed customers.

Airbus appointed the Air France engineering subsidiary as one of five ACJ completions houses at last year’s NBAA show. AFI is expected to increase its annual throughput to four ACJ completions starting next year.

In Europe and the Middle East, AFI also runs the ACJ “one call handles all” customer support program in partnership with Airbus’ main after-sales support contractor United Services. Air France is the worldwide fleet leader for operating the A320 family, which includes the ACJ.

AFI has a track record for completing Airbus aircraft for VIP and head-of-state customers that originated with the former French carrier UTA (Union de Transport Aerien), which was acquired by Air France in the late 1980s. It completed aircraft for the French president, the pope and several African and Middle Eastern heads of state.

According to AFI’s marketing manager Guillemette Wauquiez, the company is now handling narrowbody completions (the ACJ and other A320-based aircraft) at its Toulouse facility next to the Airbus factory. Widebody completions (the A330 and A340) are conducted at AFI’s facilities at Paris Orly and Le Bourget airports. The company may eventually seek to move into Boeing Business Jet completions, but does not intend to work on smaller
executive aircraft.

Six standard layouts are available for ACJs, with configurations ranging from 10 to 39 seats and completions weight allowances varying from 8,500 lb to 10,700 lb. Completions prices run from $8 million to $12 million and installation time is from four to eight months. The green price of an ACJ is around $37 million.