Airbus’s corporate jet division has formally unveiled an executive version of its A220-100 twinjet, which will be able to operate across a range of up to 5,650nm (10,500km).
The aircraft – which will be branded the ACJ TwoTwenty, a deviation from prior corporate jet designations – will be able to operate sectors such as London-Los Angeles and Tokyo-Dubai.
Airbus’s performance documentation for the standard A220-100 indicates that the variant typically has a range of 2,760nm with 120 passengers, and that the range tops out at some 4,250nm with minimum payload and maximum fuel. Its fuel capacity is 21,805 litres, about 17.2t.
But Airbus Corporate Jets president Benoit Defforge says the ACJ TwoTwenty will have five additional tanks enabling carriage of another 5.6t of fuel.
The jet will take advantage of a planned increase in maximum take-off weight for the A220-100, to 63t, which has been scheduled for the second half of 2021.
Defforge adds that the aircraft will also be certified for 180min extended twin-engined operations, “allowing more direct routes”.
Airbus says that, with the ACJ TwoTwenty, it will create a “whole new market segment” which it has termed the ‘Xtra Large Bizjet’, positioning it as an alternative to traditional large-cabin executive aircraft.
“This offer includes for the first time a flexible cabin catalogue, addressing the requirements of the heavy and long-range business jet categories,” it adds.
Executive jets claiming a similar range include the Gulfstream G500 and the Dassault Falcon 6X.
Airbus has selected VIP aircraft specialist Comlux, which has a completion centre in Indianapolis, as its exclusive outfitter for the first 15 cabins of the TwoTwenty programme.
Other interiors specialists have previously shown off potential VIP configurations for the twinjet.
Lufthansa Technik displayed a concept in 2019 with a cockpit fully-visible from the cabin, while earlier this year two North American firms – Camber Aviation Management and Kestrel Aviation Management – showed off a design proposal for the larger A220-300 variant.
Defforge says that, for the time being, Airbus is focusing on the -100 for the corporate market.
Airbus has been looking to broaden the capabilities of the A220 family since acquiring the programme, formerly the CSeries, from Bombardier in mid-2018. It has been tweaking the take-off weight, payload and range performance of the aircraft for airline customers.
Defforge says the ACJ TwoTwenty has “compelling market appeal” and that the company sees “promising demand” for the twinjet in the business jet sector.
While the A319neo had been a competitor to the CSeries, he argues that the TwoTwenty will not undermine the ACJ319neo but instead be “very complementary”.
He says the aircraft will amount to a “new value proposition”, offering intercontinental range capability, “unmatched” personal space and comfort, and “unbeatable economics”.
The interior will feature 73m² of floor space across six zones providing accommodation for up to 18 passengers.
Airbus claims that the aircraft will be able to use the same airports as competing business jets, but provide three times the cabin space while generating one-third less operating cost.
Defforge insists the business jet market is proving “very resilient” in the face of the air transport crisis, with no postponements of orders requested. He says “newcomers” are turning to the idea of private jets, while “people already flying are thinking of flying differently”.