NBAA: Airbus Corporate Jets turns focus to Global 7000 threat

Breaking from its typical counter-Boeing-themed press briefing, Airbus Corporate Jets’ press conference earlier today instead aimed to highlight the advantages of the ACJ320neo versus a traditional, large cabin business jet – particularly, the forthcoming Bombardier Global 7000.

Airbus today announced a new order for an ACJ319neo coming from an Asian customer who is “trading up” from a business jet.

The newly announced sale brings Airbus Corporate Jets' total orderbook to nine aircraft for ACJ320neo family aircraft, including three for the ACJ319neo.

Airbus launched the ACJ320neo family, featuring CFM International Leap-1A engines, in May 2015 with an order from UK-based Acropolis Aviation.

The delivery of the first green ACJ320neo had been scheduled for late 2015.

Airbus’ annual press conference at the show is often an opportunity for the company to exchange barbs with Boeing.

But this year Airbus’ presentation emphasises how the ACJ320neo family competes with smaller rivals. Boeing, which appears nowhere in Airbus’ 13-slide presentation for journalists, has signed orders for 13 business jet versions of its airliners so far this year.

At the same time, Airbus can expect to face new pressure from smaller aircraft. Bombardier plans to introduce the Global 7000 with a four-zone cabin in 2018, which it bills as the largest purpose-built business jet ever designed.

Airbus’ presentation compares the wider fuselage of the ACJ319neo against the footprint of the Global 7000, showing not only a wider but significantly longer cabin. Although the two aircraft share a similar length, the ACJ319neo has engines installed in pods under the wing, allowing nearly the full length of the fuselage to be used for the passenger cabin. The Global 7000 engines, by contrast, are installed on the sides of the aft fuselage.

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