Airbus was in bullish mood at the show this morning, as it announced that its re-engined narrowbody corporate airliner (ACJ) pair, both on display at the static, were making significant progress, with final delivery of both models in sight.
Production of the first A320neo has begun, Airbus says, “with elements taking shape across Europe”.
Final assembly is expected to begin in June, with green delivery to its UK customer, Acropolis Aviation, on target for the fourth quarter. A second ACJ320neo is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2018, although details of the customer and outfitter have not been disclosed.
Farnborough-headquartered Acropolis launched the ACJ320neo at EBACE in 2015, and selected the CFM International Leap-1A engine for the aircraft last year.
The luxury charter company has appointed Swiss completions house AMAC Aerospace to outfit the single-aisle model, which will feature 19 seats and a private master bedroom with luxury en-suite bathroom, designed by French studio Albert Pinto.
AMAC is scheduled to complete the project with 12 months.
Airbus also announced plans to deliver the first ACJ319neo to Germany's K5-Aviation in the second quarter of 2019. The charter and management company has appointed Dutch maintenance, repair and overhaul firm Fokker Techniek to outfit the aircraft on behalf of its unnamed owner.
The airliner will arrive at Fokker's facility in Woensdrecht in May 2019 for redelivery in early 2020, Airbus says.
The ACJ319neo will join K5's fleet of managed high-end aircraft, which includes three current-generation ACJ319s – two completed by Fokker in 2008 and 2016, and a third outfitted by Airbus in 2012 – and a pair of long-range Bombardier Global Express/XRS business jets.
K5 also has an ultra-long-range Global 7000 on order, scheduled for delivery in 2019.
Airbus says it has sold nine ACJ320neo-family aircraft to date – three ACJ319s and six ACJ320s – and has more than 190 corporate airliners in service worldwide.
Source: Flight International