One highlight of Airbus Corporate Jets’ Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) Show display is an ACJ319 operated by the UK’s Acropolis Aviation for VVIP charter flights. The operator is soon upgrading to an ACJ320neo, which offers greater range and fuel efficiency. The MEBAA Show is being held in Dubai, UAE, from December 10-12.
“What you get in the cabin, and being able to fly when and where you want, is the bedrock of business aviation, and being able to stand upright and move around freely – a trademark feature of Airbus corporate jets – makes a huge difference to enjoyment and productivity,” said Benoit Defforge, president at ACJ.
New members of the ACJ family, such as the ACJ319neo and ACJ320neo, feature new engines and wingtip-mounted sharklets. Acropolis Aviation’s ACJ320neo will be the first of these new aircraft. It successfully completed flight trials in November 2018, and is scheduled to be delivered for outfitting in the coming weeks. It will join more than 500 A320neo family aircraft that are already in airline service.
A total of 11 ACJ320neo family aircraft have been ordered to date, by Acropolis Aviation, Comlux, K5 Aviation and further undisclosed customers.
Continuous improvements mean that the ACJ319neo can fly eight passengers 6,750 nautical miles (12,500km) or more than 15 hours, while the ACJ320neo can transport 25 passengers 6,000 nautical miles (11,100km) or more than 13 hours.
Airbus says the Middle East is one of the biggest business jet markets in the world, and was where the manufacturer sold its first corporate jet in the mid-1980s. Around 60 ACJs are currently flying in the Middle East, comprising about 40 ACJ320 family aircraft and some 20 VIP wide-bodies. It is thus a key market for Airbus’s VIP widebodies – such as the new ACJ330neo and ACJ350 XWB.