Airbus Corporate Jets is exhibiting at MEBA 2012 (Chalet A9) having sold more than 170 aircraft since it was set up in the 1990s. Sixty of them have been in the wide-body category, mostly serving with government and VVIP operators. Recent developments in this sector have seen the company announce a new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330 and ACJ340, while the A330 airliner has received various improvements to reduce fuel-burn and increase maximum takeoff weight to 242 metric tons, giving it outstanding range capability.
In numerical terms, however, it is the narrowbody ACJ family, based on the Airbus single-aisle airliners, that is the core of Airbus Corporate Jets’ business, offering wider and taller cabins than their competitors. With the ACJ318 proving particularly popular in the Middle East region because of its good cargo volume, Airbus Corporate Jets is promoting the ACJ318 Enhanced here at MEBA 2012. This new offering was first announced at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Florida a few weeks ago.
Whereas other ACJ narrow-body bizliners have been outfitted with individually tailored interiors, from the outset the ACJ318 was offered in a number of interior options, optimized for various duties, based on customer input and experience from the other family members.
With the ACJ318 Enhanced program, Airbus Corporate Jets has drawn a number of developments from the larger family members into the ACJ318, some of which have become standard features, while others are now available as new options. To improve passenger comfort, ACJ has added stylish “Benvolio” seats as a third seating option, mood lighting, noise reduction in key areas and humidifiers. A shower option is now available, as is a cinema lounge with a U-shaped divan. The new interior design features reworked lining and LED lighting. The cabin can be outfitted with high-definition screens and Wi-Fi throughout, along with a GSM system that allows passengers to use their cellphones through their own networks. Compatibility with iPads and similar devices is also installed.
Airbus Corporate Jets expects to deliver the first ACJ318 Enhanced in the last quarter of 2013. During the year the company will also begin delivering ACJs fitted with sharklet wingtip extensions (an option), including the first ACJ321 for Comlux.
Another new option for the ACJ321 is a four-tank, long-range fit, which should prove attractive to customers in the Middle East, because it can serve destinations in western Europe and Asia. Next year an optional onboard airport navigation system is planned, and from 2015 the A320neo family will be available for ACJ applications