INTECH I 30 Comlux, the key element In view of its performance, the ACJ TwoTwenty should, however, break out of the usual corporate jetliner pattern. The Canadianorigin jetliner is, according to the head of the Airbus subsidiary, «a product whose positioning does not exist on the market today.» Due to its specific features and a price that should range an equivalent price or even lower than top-of-the-range business jets fully equipped, the TwoTwenty could therefore phagocate sales from traditional business jet manufacturers in the «extra large» and «long range» segment, such as Gulfstream with its G650ER or Bombardier with its Global 7500. We have no intention of competing with these manufacturers. But we do have a complementary and different offer. «Our aircraft today meets 98% of the needs expressed by our customers, namely an intercontinental aircraft with a large cabin volume,» said Mr. Defforge. In addition to the pure business jet market, the ACJ TwoTwenty should also interest a significant number of owners who want to part with their Boeing BBJ1 or even potentially replace a BBJ Max. But the new ACJ is of particular interest to major operators in the sector, including Comlux, a long-time Airbus customer that has acquired the first two production aircraft. According to the operator, the two aircraft, which will be based in Malta, will operate for the company’s charter requirements, but will also be used by Airbus and Comlux Group as demonstration aircraft. In addition to this contract, Comlux Group has also become a key partner in the project, as it has been awarded responsibility for the cabin outfitting of the first fifteen ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft. The work was carried out in the United States, on the group’s site in Indianapolis. In fact, Airbus has already indicated that it does not intend to sell any aircraft in «green» configuration, in order to optimize the sales price of its aircraft sold with its cabin layout. «The partnership agreement between Airbus and Comlux for the first fifteen aircraft enables us to offer a very attractive price, on a par with the very high-end business jets. Our goal is not to stop at these fifteen cabins, however, but to go beyond them in order to guarantee the aircraft’s success on the market.» In order to lower its prices, the manufacturer has defined in advance all possible interior design solutions in a module format that can be interchanged in the six cabin living spaces, each of which is of the same size. This advanced engineering management will thus enable Comlux «to guarantee not only a fitting cycle of less than 9 months but also a competitive price,» says the Comlux manager.
Will Airbus succeed where Embraer has failed with its Lineage 1000 in a market segment positioned between high-end business jets and Corporate Jet liners? The ACJ TwoTwenty has real assets in terms of price, cabin design and performance, making it a real «Game Changer» in a market that is always on the lookout for new products. In a difficult market context for the airline industry, and especially in a highly competitive sector such as business aviation, the partnership with Comlux makes sense and could prove the European manufacturer right. To be continued. n More about Airbus Ultimate Jet I 31