Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2010 Contents 28 AsianAviation | APRIL 2010
European aircra manufacturer Airbus
has predicted the Asia-Paci c region
will need about ve large corporate jets
a year, with the majority of them going
to operators in China, Hong Kong and
Macau. e aircra will be needed to
replace existing airframes and -- most importantly --
provide for growth.
Economic growth is the main driver for air travel
demand, and with China's gross domestic product
(GDP) forecast to grow at more than 8 percent a
year, Airbus is con dent that the country will be
"an important and expanding market" for corporate
aviation, as will the rest of the Asia-Paci c region.
Airbus's assessment came shortly after the
announcement that Deer Jet, a subsidiary of China's
HNA Group, would later this year become the
country's rst operator to dedicate an Airbus Corporate
Jetliner (ACJ) to VVIP charter ights. e aircra , a
derivative of the A319 single-aisle jetliner, will be based
in Beijing , o ering ights throughout China and most
of the Asia-Paci c region.
e ACJ "will allow us to o er unprecedented
space and comfort to customers, as well as the ability
to transport larger groups that traditional business jets,"
said Zhang Kui, Deer Jet's chief executive o cer.
Airbus de nes 'large corporate jets' as those seating
15 or more passengers -- such as the ACJ product
family. Today, private customers, companies and
governments in Asia operate almost 150 aircra in this
class, the manufacturer says.
"Airbus corporate jets have already won around
25 sales in Asia-Paci c, the vast majority of them in
greater China, and, with the much larger and more
comfortable cabin, they are well-placed to grow their
presence in the region," said John Leahy, the Toulouse-
based manufacturer's chief operating officer for
customers. "We have the most modern aircra family
and customers like that, because they get a new and
up-to-date product that gives them more, as well as one
that will hold its value well over time."
Deer Jet's aircra is now being out tted with a VVIP
cabin by the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre in Toulouse,
a er its "green" delivery earlier this year. e ACJ will
be con gured to seat up to 29 passengers.
Apart from Deer Jet, other current Chinese ACJ
customers and operators include Air China Business
Jets, BAA Jet Management and China Sonangol, as
well as other, unidenti ed entities.
"Most private jet customers are looking to extend
into the air the comfort and space that they already
enjoy at home or in the o ce and, with wider, taller
cabins than competing aircra , Airbus aircra are
the new top-end of the business jet market," the
manufacturer said. "One advantage of the Airbus
corporate jet's wider cabin is that it can o er a large,
circular table that allows up to six people to work, dine
or join in a game."
e further businessmen travel, the more important
cabin comfort becomes, because the passengers and
crew will want space to get up and move around during
extended ights -- something that is di cult to do in
traditional business jets. " is makes Airbus corporate
jets well suited to the Asia-Paci c market, where large
distances separate most cities," the company said.
e ACJ family of aircra was launched in 1997,
and the manufacturer claims it is the most spacious and
modern corporate/VIP jet group in its class. e family
began with the A319 Airbus Corporate Jet, which
typically accommodates 19 to 50 passengers. e
longer-fuselage A320 Prestige carries 30 passengers in
comfort, while the smallest member -- the A318 Elite --
is marketed as "an a ordable alternative for customers
whose needs can be ful lled with a shorter cabin and
less range" and o ers cabin layouts designed to seat 14-
For VVIP duties, governments and other customers
requiring extra space and long-distance capabilities,
Airbus also o ers corporate versions of its A330, A340,
A350 and A380 widebody jetliners.
e twin-engine A330 Prestige accommodates 60
to 90 passengers with "an excellent operating range",
the company said, while the four-engine A340-500
Prestige o ers global reach while carrying as many as 70
passengers. Airbus' newest aircra , the planned A350
XWB, has also been ordered in a VIP con guration.
For the most demanding top-end VVIP
requirements, the double-deck A380 -- the world's
largest passenger aircraft -- accommodates 120
travellers in luxury and with intercontinental range.
Airbus has sold more than 160 of its corporate jets
to date. Of these, more than 100 are A320-family
airframes, the A318 Elite, ACJ and A320 Prestige,
while around 50 are widebody aircra for VIP and
government use. Airbus says its corporate jets are ying
"on every continent, including Antarctica", making the
family the world's most widely used business aircra . ●
Airbus eyes large corporate jet market in Asia
Airbus's ACJ family of corporate jets is aimed squarely at the top end of the business jet and VIP market,
offering large-cabin luxury and short to ultra-long ranges. The company sees Asia as an increasingly significant
market for these products, writes Andrzej Jeziorski.
Deer Jet will use its ACJ for VVIP flights throughout
China and across the Asia-Pacific region.
Links Archive AAV March 2010 AAV May 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page