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MEBAA: Comlux boosts range of ACJ321 with extra fuel tank installation

Comlux is offering ACJ321 operators an Airbus-approved additional fuel tank installation it says adds 500nm (926km) to the aircraft’s range, and is formally launching the service at MEBAA.

The Swiss-based business aviation services company – which is also offering the modification to airlines on commercial A321s – will carry out the work at its Indianapolis completion centre. If successful, Comlux will consider offering it at a larger US site and also at a facility in Europe, says president Richard Gaona.

Comlux says the Supplemental Type Certificate installation is compatible with the 40% of A321s that already have two additional centre tanks (ACTs), although it could be adaptable for aircraft with just one ACT.

It expects each installation to take four to six weeks and it has signed an agreement with an undisclosed customer to deliver the first ACJ321 to be fitted with the new auxiliary tank in the third quarter of next year.

Gaona says there is a market for 250 modifications, although “99%” of these will be commercial airliners.

He adds that although Airbus has provided technical detail and expertise, the programme is a Comlux initiative. “We are providing the service and taking the risk,” he says. “This is part of a strategy of diversification at Comlux.”

Comlux America, the group’s Indianapolis-based completion centre, is also announcing at the show that it is teaming with four interior design houses to offer concepts for the ACJ neo family and the Boeing BBJ 8.

Comlux will promote the designs from Alberto Pinto Design, DesignQ, Unique Aircraft and Winch Design from early 2017.

“This is something that has never been done in our industry,” says Scott Meyer, chief executive of Comlux America. “Comlux recognises that every client has different tastes and styles. Therefore, by partnering with these four design companies and working together in this unique way, both Comlux and the designers can uniquely progress opportunities and prospects worldwide.”

Jim Dixon, head of aviation at Winch Design, says the new-generation narrowbodies from Airbus and Boeing “represent a fantastic opportunity for owners to be at the forefront of VIP aviation”.

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