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Airbus Adds Biz Jet Model to A220 Series

Oct. 8, 2020
The ACJ TwoTwenty variant has drawn six initial orders, as private aviation offers a bit of relief from the widespread collapse in commercial aviation.

Airbus introduced a new variant of its A220 Series twin-engine jets, referring to its new ACJ TwoTwenty as the first "Xtra Large BizJet" in the private aviation sector. While commercial aviation struggles with diminished demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, private aviation is having a more visible recovery track. Airbus corporate jets president Benoit Defforge explained that private aviation has regained about 90% of its pre-pandemic rate of order volume.

The A220s are twin-engine, narrow-body jets for regional and medium-range service, with seating for 108 to 130 passengers. The new business jet variant will be designed for 18 passengers. The ACJ TwoTwenty is offered with a flexible cabin layout, according to the requirements of heavy and long-range business-jet operations.

Originally the Bombardier C Series, Airbus acquired a majority interest in the program in 2018 and rebranded it as the A220.  The ACJ TwoTwenty will have a range of 5,650 nm/10,500 km (over 12 flight hours.)

At the same time that Airbus made its introduction, Bombardier announced that its newest business jet, the Learjet 75 Liberty light jet for six to eight passengers, was delivered to its first customer.

Airbus also announced its first contracts for the new model. The Switzerland-based charter and leasing service Comlux Aviation booked an order for two ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft (to enter service in 2023), while four more jets were ordered by unnamed customers.

“We are proud to extend the ACJ product Family with the launch of the ACJ TwoTwenty. The aircraft combines intercontinental range, unmatched personal space and comfort for all passengers. This latest technology platform offers unbeatable economics and unrivalled reliability,” Defforge said. “Based on its compelling market appeal, we see promising demand for this aircraft in the growing business jet market.”

Airbus called the ACJ TwoTwenty a "clean-sheet design" based on the smaller A220 variant (A220-100), emphasizing it occupies the same parking space and is able to take off from the same airports as comparably sized business jets.

However, Airbus added that the ACJ TwoTwenty offers three times more cabin space, with one-third less operating costs than competing models. It also presents a "50% reduced noise footprint" and up to 25% lower fuel burn than previous generation business jets. Cabin amenities include "two times better connectivity than its competitors," full Wi-Fi availability cabin, electro-chromatic windows, and LED lighting.

The A220s are assembled at Airbus operation in Meribel, Quebec, and Mobile, Ala. A total of 642 orders have been placed for the two A220 commercial aircraft models, of which 118 have been delivered to date.

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