Comlux, the Swiss VIP charter operator, has placed an order for two Boeing Business Jets Max 8 private jets.
This the first time the operator has placed an order for a brand new aircraft from Boeing (it already operates a Boeing 767 BBJ), and is significant as Comlux is known as an operator of Airbus Corporate Jets.
Richard Gaona, president and CEO, said Comlux choose the Boeing Business Jets Max 8 for its range, its cabin space and its ability to maintain a low cabin pressure at higher altitudes.
“Boeing came at the right time with the right product,” Gaona told Corporate Jet Investor at the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show. “It is the aircraft of the future.”
So far, Airbus has only hinted at launching a corporate version of the ACJ320 Neo, but Gaona said would take a keen interest in its development.
The first aircraft from the order is expected to be delivered in 2019, with the second and final aircraft due to be delivered a year later in 2020.
Although both aircraft will be placed on Comlux’s Maltese Air Operator’s Certificate, Gaona said they will be operated mainly operated in the Middle East.
Both will be outfitted at Comlux’s US certified BBJ completion centre in Indianapolis, with each completion expected to take around a year.
“The two BBJ MAX 8s are a great addition to the Comlux fleet because they give our customers the flexibility to fly farther and more comfortably thanks to the lower cabin altitude,” Gaona said in a statement. “The long-range capability of the BBJ MAX 8 is critical to all of our customers, but especially our Middle East customers who often use Comlux aircraft for long-haul flights.”
Comlux says the aircraft will replace older aircraft in the fleet, with one aircraft expected to replace the company’s 2011-build ACJ A320 (msn 4199 / 9H-AWK), and one aircraft to replace an ACJ A319.
Comlux currently operates three ACJ A319s, with the oldest being 2006-build msn 2592 / 9H-MCE.