Airbus Corporate Jets has announced the launch of the ACJTwoTwenty, a VIP version of its A220 jet.
Comlux has been appointed exclusive partner for the outfitting of the first 15 aircraft and has ordered two.
With a range of 5,650 nm (10,500 km), a 73m² (785 ft²) six-zone cabin – three times the size of ultra-long range jets – and an outfitted price of below $80m, Airbus believes it will create a new category: the extra-large business jet.
“It is a different proposal than compared to the ultra-long-range jets. Now you have the possibility this ACJ TwoTwenty to select a very decent range – transcontinental aircraft with a very large cabin,” Benoit Defforge, President ACJ told Corporate Jet Investor. “This new segment will price will be just below the price range of ultra-long business jets. We have the complete package, the product, the positioning and the price.”
Airbus has already sold six ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft. This comprises the two orders from Comlux and four from undisclosed customers. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered to customers in early 2023.
“From an operator point of view, this aircraft really is in a new segment,” said Richard Gaona, executive chairman & CEO Comlux, in an interview with Corporate Jet Investor. “Until now, you have had a long tube going far. And then you had a wider tube, with more comfort, giving you less range. The TwoTwenty is giving you, five thousand six hundred nautical miles and it’s huge.”
Fly more than 12 hours
The ACJ TwoTwenty can fly more than 12 flight hours, so is able to directly connect London and Los Angeles, Moscow and Jakarta, Tokyo and Dubai or Beijing and Melbourne.
Comlux will complete the aircraft at its Indianapolis facility. It is dedicating its largest, 130,000sq ft, hangar to Airbus completions.
Buyers will be able to choose from a range of options – but will not have the complete freedom that they get with an ACJ319.
“We are able to have a very competitive price by this approach. And, at the same time, it’s not a model or concept where you have three different options,” says Ganoa. “There are, 80 different options and the client can really define his or her own cabin with their own taste.”
ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft will have a six-zone cabin. This will include a business and guest lounge as well as a private entertainment space and a private suite – with a US- king-size bed, a standing rain-shower and private bathroom.
“Benoit instructed designer Sylvain Mariat [ACJ’s head of Creative Design] to design something new. To really apply the concept: ‘a place in the sky’. And then our engineers and the engineers of Airbus worked together,” said Gaona.
‘Reliability and low maintenance’
“And we put [together] all the experience of completions we did already – 13 completions from A319, A320, A321, A330. But we also used our experience as an operator and then we said, come on, this should be that way. Because you don’t define the cabin just from an interior design point of view. You have to design the cabin as well for reliability and low maintenance.”
Mariat has unveiled three concepts: Avante Garde, Timeless and Clean Systems.
The ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft will have Ku connectivity – twice as fast as most traditional business jets – a Wi-Fi system, electro-chromatic windows, LED lighting and a humidification system. All A220s have large windows.
Although the A220-100 airline version was designed for between 100 and 120 passengers, the ACJ TwoTwenty is designed for 18 passengers. Airbus will add five extra fuel tanks – carrying five more tonnes of fuel – to give it extra range. It will also be certified for 180 minute Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPs).
This is the first time that Airbus Corporate Jets has selected an exclusive partner for completions. “Comlux selected the ACJ TwoTwenty and we selectied Comlux as an exclusive supplier for the cabin. And we put together all our knowledge”, says Defforge. “It shows the trust between the two companies. It is not is not a one-day collaboration, it is a long-term partnership.”