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EBACE: Airbus Corporate Jets steps up its presence at air shows

Airbus Corporate Jets is stepping up its presence on the air show calendar as it aims to put its narrowbody aircraft in front of as many potential buyers as possible.

The newly-independent Airbus unit will be exhibiting at 11 events this year, up from the regular four to six, says Francois Chazelle, vice president commercial. "We've come to realise that the best way to sell the aircraft is to show the cabin - the widest and tallest on the market - to as wide an audience as we can," he says.

ACJ is at EBACE with an ACJ319, chartered from one of its biggest customers, Comlux. The jet arrived in April from Comlux's own Comlux America completions centre in Indianapolis, having been delivered green last year.

The ACJ319 is certificated to carry 19 passengers and features two private rooms that convert to bedrooms, one with an en-suite bathroom.

In a separate move, the ACJ318 and ACJ319 have been awarded eligibility for FAA Part 135 operations. This means operators can avoid the more stringent Part 121 process, designed for airlines. The development should make it easier for owners in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, which follow US regulations, to charter their aircraft to paying passengers.

Airbus has secured 60 orders for VIP versions of its widebody airliners since the mid-1980s, and 110 narrowbodies since launching the Airbus Corporate Jet family in 1997.

Airbus is taking orders for sharklet-equipped ACJs. The enhanced winglets are offered as a fuel-saving, range-boosting option. Airbus has not yet received any orders, but one customer has "provisions" to add them, says Airbus Corporate Jets.


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