Airbus Corporate Jets arrives at Dubai in bullish mood, with the re-engined Neo variants of its VVIP narrowbody family beginning to gain traction in the marketplace since their May launch.

It has so far confirmed the identities of two customers for the twinjets – UK operator Acropolis Aviation will take and ACJ320neo and Alpha Star of Saudi Arabia has ordered an ACJ319neo – but its current orders and deliveries data lists a further three ACJ320neos.

Deliveries of the ACJ320neo and ACJ319neo are due to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019, respectively.

Neo aircraft are equipped with either CFM International Leap-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1100G powerplants, but no engine has yet been selected by customers of the corporate variants.



The new engines, plus the addition of Airbus’s Sharklet wing-tip modifications, increase the range and efficiency of the Neo aircraft.

Airbus Corporate Jets is exhibiting at the air show an ACJ319 – the current engine variant – belonging to European charter operator K5 Aviation. Featuring a four-cabin interior completed by Fokker Services, the VVIP jet is currently up for sale via 28 East.

K5 is in believed to be in negotiations to acquire a replacement, but Airbus declines to comment on any possible acquisition.

Although production of the smallest member of the corporate jet family, the ACJ318, is currently suspended due to a lack of orders, the airframer says the model could be revived “if there is sufficient customer demand” of “several aircraft” from “more than one customer”.

However, it believes that customers will be instead tempted by the semi-bespoke Elite cabin option, developed for the ACJ318 in conjunction with Lufthansa Technik, which it has now applied to the larger ACJ319.

In addition, the manufacturer is developing a corporate jet variant of its new carbonfibre A350-900 widebody and has been working with a number of completions houses to refine the concept, with particular attention paid to the challenges of working with the composite airframe.

“We are working on a solution that makes it easy for the outfitters,” it says.

Catch up on all the latest news, analysis and opinion from the Dubai air show.

Source: Flight Daily News