Airbus and Boeing are trading blows over corporate and government market share claims in an extension of the antagonism usually reserved for the wider commercial market, writes Guy Norris.

Despite differing claims on market share, both agree on the upbeat trend, with Airbus marking double-digit sales of its Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) for the first time in one year, and Boeing facing difficulty securing additional production slots for its Boeing Business Jet (BBJ).

Airbus vice-president for executive and private aircraft Richard Gaona says 10 firm orders and one option have been booked this year for the ACJ family, which includes the A319LR and A319 Executive variants. "Overall, we now have almost 40 orders," says Gaona, who adds that all but two of the eight reserved ACJ production slots for 2005 are sold out. Before Boeing's NBAA announcement of new BBJ sales, Airbus also claimed 90% of the market for 2004, but Gaona says "we're fighting for sales more against secondhand BBJs than new ones".

New ACJ sales include aircraft for the governments of Azerbaijan, Brazil and Qatar, as well as to Eurofly and National Air Services. Planned improvements include A318-based electrically signalled brakes, liquid-crystal displays, 180min extended-range operations clearance, enhanced ground proximity warning system, and Aero H+ satellite communications.

Including five new sales announced at NBAA, Boeing has orders for 91 BBJs. BBJ president Steve Hill says fulfilling demand is being made more difficult by the struggle to secure production slots. "Positions for 2005 are sold out, and we have certain allocations for 2006, and it's not enough," he says.

Source: Flight International