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.
Following two years of record orders for new jetliners, a principal consideration for the manufacturers is how best to manage assembly and provision of supplies to match the higher rates of aircraft delivery. One way European manufacturer Airbus is addressing this challenge is by establishing a final-assembly line for the A320 series of single-aisle jetliners in China.
Amid fanfare and the sweet scent of jet fuel, Zurich-based charter operator and A318 Elite launch customer Comlux arrived in Geneva on Sunday with the first example of the business twinjet. It was the airshow debut of this newest member of the Airbus ACJ family, which also includes the ACJ itself and the A320 Prestige.
Landmark Aviation’s Associated Air Center delivered its seventh Airbus Corporate Jetliner last month and has contracts for three more. Its total of 12 ACJ cabin completion orders makes Associated the preeminent ACJ interiors shop in the U.S., but it is not the only one.
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner family has just grown bigger, with the introduction of its newest member, the smaller A318 Elite. The Elite offers less range (up to 4,000 nm) and a shorter cabin than the Airbus 320. Airbus said Germany’s Lufthansa Technik will outfit the Elite with a choice of two cabin layouts seating up to 14 and 18 passengers, respectively, with seats clustered in several lounge areas throughout the cabin.
Airbus A318s powered by CFM International engines were approved by the EASA for 180-minute extended-range twin-engine operations (ETOPS). FAA validation of 180-minute ETOPS is targeted for the first half of next year. The first A318 with the 180-minute ETOPS capability is a corporate Elite to be delivered to Comlux Aviation of Switzerland.
Austrian charter operator Jet-Alliance (Booth No. 132) yesterday signed a firm order here for a CFM56-5-powered Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ). It will augment the almost 40 aircraft available from the Viennese company by providing long-range, large-cabin capacity, chief executive Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer told EBACE Convention News.
Last Monday, Airbus showed to the press its recently opened corporate jetliner center in the U.S.
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.
Lufthansa Technik, which has contracts with Bombardier for the completion of 17 Challenger 850s over the next several years, has already delivered the first, now in service with Suncor Energy of Alberta, Canada. The 50-passenger Challenger is configured for shuttle work.