Airbus Corporate Jets hoping for improved 2012

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Airbus Corporate Jets is hoping for a better 2012, as it looks to recover from several cancellations last year and aims for 200 total sales for its airliner-derived business aircraft.

The airframer has sold 168 of its ACJ variants to date, down from 174 this time last year. It added just four new orders, one ACJ321 and three ACJ330s. Meanwhile, the company reported 10 cancellations, including six ACJ350s previously ordered by Middle Eastern firm MAZ Aviation.

The total includes 110 of its narrowbody-based ACJ318-321s and a further 52 of its VIP and head of state aircraft, based on its larger airliners, said David Velupillai, marketing director for Airbus Corporate Jets.

Included within these 52 units is a single ACJ380, which should be delivered to a completion centre - thought to be Swiss company Jet Aviation - later this year. "It's coming up soon," said Velupillai, "but at the moment it is still an Airbus aircraft."

The company delivered 14 aircraft in 2011, just under the 15 it handed over the year before.

Meanwhile, the airframer has discontinued production of its ACJ340 due to the cancellation of the commercial variant, announced last year, as a result of waning sales.

However, a number are still undergoing work in completion centres, Velupillai added.

The ACJ318 may also only have a few years of production left. Airbus is yet to make a decision on when it will phase out the ACJ318, but its airliner parent is not part of Airbus's re-engined A320neo family - which should begin rolling off the production line in 2015.

However, Velupillai is unconcerned: "One of the things about our market is that the customer wants it, and wants it now. When we talk about 2015, that's a long way away for the customer - it's beyond their planning horizon."