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  • EBACE: Airbus bullish on corporate orders

EBACE: Airbus bullish on corporate orders

After a tough year for aircraft orders, Airbus predicts a rise in demand for its corporate jetliners as it looks ahead to 2014 for the first delivery of its first A350 Prestige.

Francois Chazelle, vice-president executive and private aviation Middle East, says that Airbus expects to book orders in the coming weeks, with negotiations progressing with potential customers in the Middle East, China and eastern Europe.

He emphasises that despite a slow year for booking new orders, 2010 is expected to feature 16 deliveries, up from 14 in 2009, for the airframer, including two A340-500s.

The recovery, says Chazelle, has been led by emerging markets in China and the Middle East, as the global economy begins to pick up steam again.

One of the two A319 Airbus Corporate Jets on static display during the show belongs to Acropolis Aviation, a UK-based VIP charter company. The aircraft, which was completed at the airframer's wholly owned Airbus Corporate Jet Centre in Toulouse, features a custom interior designed by French interior designer Alberto Pinto.

 Francois Chazelle, vice-president executive and private aviation Middle East, Billypix
 © Billypix

Acropolis will operate its first ACJ on long-range missions in a standard three auxiliary fuel tank configuration, with an option for two additional tanks providing 9,250km (5,000nm) of range from its base at Farnborough, requiring a two-day modification.

David Crawshaw, chief executive of Acropolis Aviation, says that the aircraft on display here at the show is the ACJ delivered with a maximum take-off weight of 76.5t, enabled by a software change in the fly-by-wire system.

The aircraft was delivered green to the ACJC from Airbus's Hamburg facility in March 2009, followed by 11 months of completion work in Toulouse with a handover to Acropolis just two weeks ago.

Crawshaw says the aircraft, operating with a crew of six, including three flight attendants and a flight engineer, immediately entered service on routes to the Caribbean and US West Coast.

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