Airbus has won two new customers for VIP versions of its ultra long-haul A340s - one for an A340-500 and one for an A340-300 - highlighting their strong appeal to the business aviation market. The deals build on a customer-base of 40 or so VIP and government versions of Airbus widebodies already in service.
The Airbus A340-500 is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines, and the A340-300 by CFM International CFM56-5s.
"With its huge cabin, ultra long-range, and the four-engined freedom to take the remotest routings in its stride, the Airbus A340 is today's ultimate long-haul VIP transport," says Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy. "With a VIP Airbus A340-500, you can literally fly non stop to the world."
Airbus offers the largest and most modern range of corporate jets, from the entry-level A318 Elite, through the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), A320 Prestige and A330/A340 Prestige, all the way up to an A380 Flying Palace.
The market for VIP widebodies has been increasingly active in recent years, with Airbus booking its first firm order for a VIP A340-600 in 2005, plus a VIP A330-200 for an undisclosed customer, in 2006.
Widebody VIP aircraft offer customers both a larger cabin and more range, allowing larger groups to fly even further nonstop in greater comfort and style.
And for customers that select a four-engined A340 or A380, there are added benefits. These include the ability to continue to their destination after an engine failure, better take-off performance in hot and high conditions, and the freedom to overfly remote areas free from extended range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) limitations.
The VIP A330-200, A340-300, A340-500 and A340-600 build on the strong success that the A330/A340 Family has already achieved in the airliner marketplace, where they are the first in their class to pass 1,000 firm orders and have some 100 customers and operators to their credit.
Their modern design features many innovations that deliver more value to customers. These include fuel-saving advanced aerodynamics, extensive use of weight-saving carbonfibre composites, a modern common cockpit and fly-by-wire controls, and reliable systems supported by centralised maintenance.
Corporate jet customers are backed by Airbus' worldwide network of technical support, training and spares centres, as well as approved service centres.
Airbus is an EADS company.