October 30, 2012
It’s been about five years since the first ACJ318 entered service, and now Airbus has launched a major refresh for its “baby” corporate jet -– and has already won its first order. The ACJ318 Enhanced introduces a host of new cabin features (making standard many items that were previously options) and formalizes the availability of the manufacturer’s “Sharklet” wingtips for increased range -– up from about 4,200 nmi to 4,350 nmi.
Airbus has already sold Sharklet-equipped ACJ319 and ACJ321 aircraft and their official adoption by the ACJ318 rounds out the ACJ fleet.
Inside the cabin there are new seats, a domed ceiling, LED lights, and restyled linings and fittings for better soundproofing. The IFE system is now fully HD, with Blu-ray player and HDMI interfaces. The aft lounge can be transformed into a cinema, and iPad and iPod connectivity is available along with a wireless LAN. A shower option is available too.
Cabin completion for the ACJ318 Enhanced is still handled exclusively by Lufthansa Technik. The first aircraft will be delivered at the end of 2013 and should emerge from completion in the first half of 2014. The ACJ318 Enhanced configuration then becomes the new standard for all subsequent aircraft. So far Airbus has sold about 25 ACJ318s, mostly in the Middle East, China, Russia and the CIS.