The first Airbus A318 Elite to be registered in Asia is on display at the Asian Aerospace static park as the aircraft managed by BAA Jet Management gives the model its show debut.

The aircraft is usually based at Shenzhen, China where it is used for VVIP charter. European manufacturer Airbus believes its presence at the show will allow potential Asian customers the opportunity to see the difference in cabin size between the corporate jets and traditional business jets.

When BAA became the launch Asian customer for the Elite, the Hong Kong-based company's director of sales and marketing Jeffrey Lowe said: "For our clients, the A318 Elite's cabin is something to behold - offering much greater comfort and space than the traditional business jets. With its seating for 18 passengers, we can carry larger groups than any other corporate jet available for charter in the region today."

With eight passengers, the A318 Elite can fly 7,800km (4,200nm), enough to reach all of Asia non-stop from Hong Kong.

Airbus marketing director, executive and private aviation, David Velupillai says: "China and Asia Pacific are important and growing markets for Airbus corporate jets, which are introducing new standards of comfort and efficiency to private customers, companies and governments."

BAA Jet Management will become a major operator of Airbus's executive and private aviation aircraft family in the region as it is the launch customer for the A350 XWB Prestige, of which it has two on order, along with three ACJs and an A320 Prestige.

"We have found Airbus to be a very willing partner in paving the way for our A318 Elite operations - demonstrating excellent support and flexibility in dealing with some of the unique issues we face in Asia in terms of certification and delivery issues," BAA's Lowe says. "Our customers also appreciate the technology incorporated in this aircraft, including fly-by-wire and its Category 3B landing capabilities."

The Elite on display features a main living area with settees and seating clustered around tables, plus a private office that converts to a bedroom with en-suite bathroom.

There is a shuttle bus service from Asia Expo to the static park leaving every 10min from 09.30.

Source: Flight Daily News