When it comes to deluxe interiors and comfort, bigger is better, Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) believes. The airframer is showcasing at MEBAA 2018 an ACJ 319 that illustrates—and helps explain—the trend toward larger cabins in new-generation business jets.
“Being able to stand upright and move around freely—a trademark feature of Airbus corporate jets—makes a huge difference to enjoyment and productivity,” said Benoit Defforge, president of ACJ (Chalet A15/Booth P6).
Such is the demand for these larger executive airliner cabins that UK-based Acropolis Aviation, which operates the ACJ319 on display, is upgrading to the larger and more modern ACJ320neo.
The ACJ320 family (ACJ318/319/320/321) boasts “the widest and tallest of any large business jet while being about the same size and delivering similar operating costs,” according to the company. The Acropolis ACJ320neo, with an interior from Albert Pinto Interior Design, will be the first of this new generation of Airbus corporate jets to take to the skies. Having successfully completed flight trials last month, the ACJ320neo will be delivered for outfitting to AMAC Aerospace in Basel, Switzerland in the coming weeks. Entry into service is expected in the fourth quarter of next year.
The ACJ319neo and ACJ320neo feature new engines and wingtip-mounted sharklets, extending range, saving fuel, and reducing operating costs. With more than 15 hours of endurance, the ACJ319neo can fly eight passengers 6,750 nm/12,500 km; the ACJ320neo can carry 25 passengers 6,000 nm, staying aloft for more than 13 hours.
A total of 11 ACJ320neos have been ordered to date, from customers including Comlux and K5 Aviation in addition to Acropolis.
The Middle East is one of the world’s largest markets for executive airliners, and Airbus Corporate Jets noted that a regional customer was the first purchaser of an ACJ in the mid-1980s. Today some 60 ACJs are based in the region, about 40 of them ACJ320-family airframes and 20 VIP widebodies. New generation widebody ACJs are also coming to market, including the ACJ330 neo and the ACJ350 XWB (extra-widebody).