Six operators were represented at the first operators conference for the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) held at the manufacturer’s Toulouse, France headquarters on September 14. In total, 15 pilots and managers made the trip, representing Aero Services Executive, DaimlerChrysler Aviation, Twinjet, the Italian and French government flight departments, as well as one other undisclosed operator.
The meeting considered a proposal to provide greater flexibility between fuel volume and baggage space, taking advantage of the quick change capability of the ACJ’s auxiliary fuel tanks, which can be fitted and removed through the aircraft’s outward-opening cargo doors. Other topics included extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) and the “one call handles all” support services provided for Airbus by the United Services subsidiary of United Airlines.
To date, 10 ACJs have been delivered. Eight of these are in service with operators in the Middle East and Europe and are routinely flown worldwide. The ACJ is derived from the Airbus A320 airliner family and so is also backed by the airframer’s 120 field service teams, five spares centers and three training establishments.
Charter firm Aero Services Executive is the newest ACJ operator and is based at Paris Le Bourget. DaimlerChrysler has bases on both sides of the Atlantic at Stuttgart, Germany, and Detroit. The UK’s Twinjet is headquartered at London Luton Airport and operates the ACJ on behalf of the Kuwait-based Al Kharafi group.