Jet Aviation Basel has won the first two contracts to kit out VIP Airbus A350-900 XWB Prestige aircraft in 2014 and 2015.
Each aircraft should take around 18 months to complete and will be managed and operated by Hong Kong-based BAA Jet Management. One of the A350s is owned by Hong Kong based C Jet, while the other belongs to an undisclosed customer from Asia.
“We are extremely proud that Jet Aviation Basel is the first completions center to be entrusted with the VIP outfitting of two A350-900 XWB aircraft,” says André Wall, Jet Aviation’s COO for the EMEA and Asia regions. Jeffrey Lowe, BAA’s director of sales and marketing says: “We had to reserve our completions slots now for 2014. It is not easy to find centers that can accommodate such large aircraft.”
Ricky Leung, BAA’s managing director adds: “Jet Aviation Basel impressed us not only with its experience, in-house design capabilities and new state-of- the-art facilities but also with its responsiveness and flexibility to accommodate the two new generation A350-900 XWB Prestiges.”
BAA has also placed an Airbus Corporate Jetliner for completion at the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) in Toulouse. Due to arrive in 2012, the ACJ belongs to an undisclosed Asian customer. The VIP configuration will uniquely include four lavatories with two showers. According to Lowe, reserving the slot at the ACJC was tough. His customer had to place a €500,000 ($691,200) deposit to guarantee the space.
Competition for widebody outfitting slots is still fierce. Francois Chazelle, Airbus’ VP Executive and Private Aviation, says Airbus is looking at projects to establish a completions center in China. However, this is likely to take some time to come to fruition. “It takes time to develop proper skills in completions,” says Lowe. “Companies like Jet Aviation and ACJC have real expertise in this field.”
Source: Flight International