Airbus yesterday signed an order for an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) from C Jet Limited, a Hong Kong company owned by a private individual. The new bizliner will be managed and operated by BAA Jet Management, also of Hong Kong, which has placed orders for an ACJ and an A318 Elite. The C Jet ACJ will be the second such aircraft under BAA Jet’s management.
Airbus Executive and Private Aviation
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner Center in Toulouse, France, which opened for business in July, has taken in its first two aircraft for cabin outfitting, both from the ACJ line and both to be furnished with executive interiors for private owners.
The Airbus Corporate Jet Centre in Toulouse, France, has received its first two aircraft for cabin outfitting and expects to have invested $7 million by the time improvements are complete early next year.
The first two airplanes are from the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) family and will be equipped with executive/VIP cabins for private owners.
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.
Airbus remains tight-lipped on the subject of what it calls the A380 “Flying Palace,” but that hasn’t kept rumors from swirling or designers from developing proposals for a cabin on two levels with some 6,800 sq ft of living space.
When Airbus tentatively entered the corporate jet market a decade ago with the ACJ, its expectations for the airplane were modest. Success would be measured in single-digit sales primarily to wealthy individuals in the Middle East who dreamed of creating miniature flying palaces.
This week’s spate of large-airliner orders, many confirming previous announcements, continued on Wednesday as Airbus and Boeing unveiled further business. More new deals could be revealed today. For example, International Lease Finance Corp. is talking to Airbus about its unresolved requirement for about 16 A350 XWB aircraft.
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.
To meet surging demand for its executive jets, Airbus is appointing Stork Fokker in the Netherlands as an additional completion center and reviving the defunct company-owned Sogerma completion center located within Airbus’ premises in Toulouse, France. This new facility is called Airbus Corporate Jet Centre and will be independently managed to provide the flexibility needed in the VIP market.
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.