Airbus announced this morning that its Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) has improved performance with a new maximum take-off weight of 76.5t now certificated by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Vice-president, executive and private aviation Francois Chazelle said today that the MTOW increase of 1t could increase payload or improve range by 300km (170nm) to achieve the 11,100km target.
The gain was made possible by a new load alleviation function that will now be offered as an option on all new-build aircraft and will be available for retrofit on existing models.
Chazelle says the Airbus range of corporate jets from the A318 Elite right through to the A380 Flying Palace are still in demand. "Of course we have seen a slowdown, like everyone else, and we have seen people take opportunities like buying a smaller jet such as a Gulfstream 550 or a Global Express because of discounts while they wait for delivery of the ACJ."
Corporate jets will take up their full quota of 12 aircraft slots for 2009 and Chazelle says there could be even more. "If an airline order is deferred we could take that slot. We are confident."
In this morning's press conference Chazelle confirmed that the European manufacturer received 25 orders last year, with 15 for single-aisle aircraft and 10 for widebodies.
EBACE visitors can see exactly how impressive the ACJ is as VVIP operator Comlux has its ACJ on the static park.