China Sonangol has disclosed a previously placed firm order for three Airbus Corporate Jetliners (ACJs), becoming the first named Chinese customer for the aircraft. The announcement highlights the growth of corporate jets in China, as large companies increasingly recognise their benefits as business tools for executives.
China Sonangol's first Airbus ACJ is currently undergoing cabin outfitting at Associated Air Center in Dallas, Texas, and will be delivered soon. It is powered by CFM International CFM56-5 engines.
Asian sales of the Airbus ACJ Family, which includes the smaller A318 Elite and larger A320 Prestige, run into double-digit figures.
Worldwide sales of the Airbus ACJ Family now total around 80, with the aircraft having been chosen by customers on every continent. Airbus ACJs have led the large top-of-the-line corporate jet market for the last three years, and won almost two-thirds of sales in 2006.
Airbus' ACJ Family brings a new dimension to business jet travel, giving executives and VIPs the widest cabin of any corporate jet. It offers twice the cabin-width and three times the cabin volume of older top-of-the-line business jets, as well as the most modern design of any corporate jet, while remaining as affordable, delivering unmatched quality and value.
Customers have full cabin flexibility with their Airbus ACJ cabin, and can chose anything from a corporate shuttle with seating for almost 50 passengers, through a mixed arrangement with areas for VIP travellers and support staff, up to a full VIP configuration with different zones - including lounges, dining rooms, private offices, bedrooms, bathrooms and showers.
"We give customers the space in which to realise their dreams," says Airbus Chief Operating Officer customers John Leahy. "Of course our modern Airbus ACJ design also confers the intercontinental range that you would expect in a top-of-the-line corporate jet, remarkable reliability and the full backing of Airbus' worldwide product support network."
Benefits of the modern Airbus ACJ Family include advanced fuel-saving aerodynamic design with wingtip fences as standard, extensive use of weight-saving carbonfibre structure, and modern systems that encompass a cost-saving common cockpit, fly-by-wire controls and centralised maintenance.
The Airbus ACJ is derived from the Airbus A320 Family, the world's best-selling airliner range, which has more than 5,000 orders and some 240 customers and operators to its credit.
Airbus is an EADS company.