Airbus has launched a programme for the ACJ319 aircraft that allows owners greater cabin flexibility for their aircraft.
The airframer announced the new ACJ319 'Elegance' programme before the start of the annual ABACE business aviation event in Shanghai.
The ACJ319 Elegance has a fixed forward and aft sections, but allows users the option to customise the middle three sections of the aircraft cabin.
"The ACJ319 Elegance offers owners greater simplicity, speed, and value with its modular cabin," says an Airbus spokesman.
The three central modules allow a range of choices, from additional seats to lounges and dining areas.
Moreover, Airbus says the ACJ319 Elegance will cost below $80 million for a completed aircraft, compared with over $90 million for a typical ACJ319 with a customised cabin.
"After a few years, an owner may wish to change the cabin configuration," says the spokesman. "The ACJ319 allows them to do this."
One caveat is that the reconfiguration of the aircraft's central three modules takes several weeks, and the work can only be performed by the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre in Toulouse. Airbus adds the Elegance option will also make it easier for new owners to customise an ACJ319 they buy secondhand.
The company has yet to secure a buyer for the Elegance configuration option, but says that once a buyer is found the first aircraft will take 20 months to manufacture. Eventually, the lead time for ACJ319s configured for the Elegance option will be reduced to 16 months.
If the Elegance option proves successful with the ACJ319, Airbus will consider it for other types, which are based on Airbus's range of commercial aircraft.
"Airbus corporate jets have always been great at enabling customers to take their lifestyles into the air, because they have the widest and tallest cabins of any business jet," says John Leahy, the company's chief operating officer, customers.
"Our new ACJ319 Elegance makes it even easier and quicker for customers to realise the cabin of their dreams, by choosing from a wide range of seating and socialising options."
Source: Flight International