After years of trying, Airbus has cracked the U.S. VVIP charter market with the first sale of an ACJ318 today at the NBAA Convention. Airbus believes the sale will significantly increase the visibility of Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) in the U.S. The aircraft will be based at Jet Aviation Flight Services in Van Nuys, Calif., where it will be operated for an undisclosed owner and for Part 135 charter. It will be placed on Jet Aviation’s operating certificate for charter late this year or early next year.
Airbus Corporate Jet Center (ACJC, Booth No. C11606), a specialist in Airbus Corporate Jet executive cabin completion, has delivered its 24th cabin featuring the development and integration more than 15 new technologies to meet the unidentified customer’s stringent requirements in terms of layout design, comfort and systems.
Toulouse, France-based Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) completed and delivered its 24th ACJ cabin. The aircraft was delivered to an undisclosed customer in the Middle East. According to the company, it developed and integrated more than 15 new technologies into this ACJ319 completion to meet the customer’s requirements for layout design, comfort and systems. The configuration–new for an Airbus ACJ–is based on two main zones, offering a “high level of comfort and services” for 19 passengers.
China-based Henan New Continental Business Aviation has ordered two Eurocopter helicopters in VIP configuration. An AS350B3e Ecureuil/AStar single will be delivered at year-end and an EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style (the first such light twin to be sold in Asia) in the middle of next year. The operator plans to create a helicopter fleet for business passengers. “While VIP helicopter transportation in China is relatively young, the customers’ needs are maturing rapidly,” chairman Zhou Suiji stated.
Even as French aircrews began training in the U.S. on the Reaper UAS, EADS Cassidian announced that it had received a one-year extension to its support contract for the Harfang UAS that the French air force intends to replace with the American drone. Cassidian also noted that the similar Heron UAS operated by the German air force and supported by the company has logged 15,000 hours over Afghanistan. The Germans are also considering a Reaper buy as a replacement for the Israeli-origin UAVs.
Eurocopter has received two more firm orders for VIP versions of the EC175 medium twin helicopter, bringing the total backlog to 48. Deliveries to both unidentified customers are scheduled for 2016. The interior design, which accommodates six to eight passengers, was done by Peder Eidsgaard of Pegasus Design. Cabin completion will be performed at Eurocopter’s factory in Marignane, France. Once planned for 2011, certification of the EC175 is now expected early next year.
In ceremonies at the Seville factory and at Orleans airbase on September 30, Airbus Military and the French Air Force celebrated the entry into service of the A400M airlifter. No new aircraft were handed over, but delivery of the second aircraft for France and the first for Turkey will occur by the end of October.
The recent global financial recession notwithstanding, long-term airline traffic growth will average 4.7 percent per year, while cargo traffic grows at a slightly higher annual rate, 4.8 percent, according to the latest 20-year market forecast published by Airbus. However, the company projected a marked disparity between traffic growth in “advanced” and “emerging” markets. COO for customers John Leahy noted a divergence in gross domestic product GDP trends between the groups since 2000.
Activist investor The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI) in the UK has renewed its calls for EADS to sell its 46-percent stake, worth more than €4 billion, in Dassault Aviation.
Following its approval last May by EASA as a Continuous Airworthiness Management Organization (Camo), Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) has signed its first contract with an Asian customer.
The new contract allows the MRO to include the management of continuous airworthiness services on the Airbus Corporate Jet series, including aircraft configuration management; MMEL and OMP development; maintenance planning, preparation and updates; service bulletin recommendation and airworthiness directive follow-up; work-package preparation for line maintenance; and hangar checks.