Airbus Unveils New VIP Cabin For A330s In Middle East

European manufacturer’s ACJ330 Summit targets governments and VIPs



One of Airbus’ most popular and established models, the A330, is set for a new lease of life as a private jet.

Airbus disclosed details of the ACJ330 Summit in the Middle East for the first time today, on the eve of the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) conference which will be held at Dubai World Central between December 8-10.

The new VIP cabin concept will be for private and government customers, initially on A330-200s, and its long range means its can fly between Riyadh and Los Angeles non-stop.

The luxury aircraft will contain a bedroom with ensuite bathroom at the front followed by an office and conference and dining room, and airline-style first and economy seats can be installed at the rear.

Airbus says it can fit out an A330 widebody jet quicker than an A350 – which has a backlog of orders – thereby appealing to high flyers, who typically want jets as soon as possible, and claims that as the A330 has a proven track record, it is limiting risk. Orders placed today could be delivered early 2016.

Benoit Defforge, president, Airbus Corporate Jets, said the ACJ300 Summit will cost “below $200 million”, depending on customisation. Its A340s, A380s and upcoming A350s can also be configured as corporate jets.

David Velupillai, Marketing director for Airbus Corporate Jets, added that the Middle East accounts for between a third and half of sales and it is particularly strong in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

This week Airbus will be exhibiting an ACJ319 at MEBA, which is operated by a private customer and can be hired for VVIP charters. The 19-passenger aircraft contains a bedroom, ensuite bathroom and shower.

In April Airbus introduced an ACJ319 Elegance whose modular cabin design features three zones in the middle which can be designed as lounges, offices or for dining.

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