October 21, 2013
Things are quiet at the very top end of the bizjet market, and that is reflected by the Airbus Corporate Jet order book for the year to date. Airbus has sold two aircraft (one ACJ319, one ACJ320) and delivered three to customers (for a total of five deliveries since last NBAA Convention).
A highlight among those figures is the handover of the first ACJ with sharklet wingtips. That aircraft – an ACJ319 for South Korea’s SK Telecom – was flown to the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) in Toulouse for completion on October 18. The sharklet wingtips lower drag, reduce fuel burn and give the aircraft an extra 200 nm of range. All production ACJs now have the modified wings that allow Sharklets to be fitted on the line or retrofitted after delivery.
Another delivery highlight from earlier this year was the handover of the first ACJ for Emirates Executive. That aircraft, an ACJ319 (A6-CJE), can carry a maximum of 19 passengers but is also configured with 10 mini suites in the rear cabin, providing a new concept in privacy and sleeping space on board an ACJ. The Emirates ACJ is also the first to fly with the ACJC’s Starlight embedded fiber filament lighting in both the cabin ceiling and carpet. This aircraft also has the first Ku-band satcom system fitted to any single-aisle Airbus Corporate Jet. Charter operations with the new ACJ commenced in August.
The Emirates jet was the 24th cabin completion to be delivered from the ACJC facility in Toulouse (including previous SOGERMA deliveries), and the milestone cabin No. 25 will be handed over “in the next week or two,” says Airbus.