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07 February 2007
07. February 2007 Commercial Aircraft

Airbus wins first Asian customer for VIP A340-500

Airbus has won its first Asian customer for a VIP version of its ultra long-haul A340-500 ? highlighting the aircraft?s growing appeal to private customers. The deal is the third for the VIP A340 that Airbus has announced this year, and is in addition to five orders for Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) Family aircraft. The Asian customer?s A340-500 is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines. ?Already doing sterling service on the world?s longest airline routes, the Airbus A340-500 has exactly what a VIP customer wants ? a very large and attractive cabin, four-engined freedom for routings over the remotest regions, and the range to fly nonstop to the world,? says Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy. 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.

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