EBAN's readers are responsible for the operation of 34 corporate Airbus aircraft, comprising 26 ACJs, four A310s, two A318s and two A340s. These are spread widely across the Middle East as well as eastern and western Europe. The largest individual fleet is in the hands of PrivatAir in Germany with four ACJs. During 2009, however, that honour is due to be shared with DC Aviation, also of Germany, which plans to add a further three ACJs to the one currently operated.
DC Aviation reports that it is "quite satisfied" with maintenance support for the A319CJ. It says: "The company can generally rely on direct support from Airbus at most of the destinations. In addition, DC Aviation has a large inventory of spare parts and is capable of rapid response, thereby offering its clients the highest operational standard of reliability."
The company says it is very pleased with the ACJ's operating capability. "In 2008, DC Aviation has flown the Airbus 319CJ several times to North and South America, Asia and Africa. Altogether, the jet has flown to 74 different destinations in 23 countries on five continents."
Meanwhile in Portugal Omni Aviation Group continues to expand its White Airways fleet with three ACJs due to be in operation this year. An existing ACJ, and a second brought into operation in January, will be joined within six months by an A320, according to president and co-founder Jose Miguel Da Costa. "The ACJ is the technologically most advanced aircraft in corporate shuttle version offering highest comfort standards to 48 passengers," he says. Pedro Caneira, sales director, adds: "The ACJ addition enhances the Omni fleet perfectly. The roominess and useable cabin space of the Airbus is class leading, complementing the existing 29-seater ACJ." The new ACJ offers a 48 seat configuration. "With fully reclinable seats and individual entertainment it offers a non-stop range of up to 4,500nm attaining speeds of up to Mach 0.80 at a certified altitude of 41,000ft," says Caneira. He points out that the aircraft is capable of non-stop flights such as Dubai-London, Riyadh-Hong Kong or Kuwait-Johannesburg. "It is the ideal aircraft for large groups travelling long distances in the best possible comfort. Despite the world economic downturn, we had several groups from Africa, Asia and even royal family members and government delegations literally flying around the globe."
Jetalliance says the ACJ has a distinguished dispatch reliability of 99.9 per cent. The company points out: "This means that only in one case in 1,000 flights the aircraft is not dispatchable. The great reliability is a competitive advantage for a charter company. Due to the aircraft's integrated data system the time to detect a faulty system is reduced to a minimum. It is also easy to find pilots and to get training slots because there is a pool of about 25,000 Airbus pilots worldwide."
The main strengths, Jetalliance adds, include the huge cross-sectional area of the cabin which it describes as "the greatest cabin diameter of its class" and it praises cabin zone concept. "Passengers really enjoy the cabin climate and the impressive cabin space. The passengers can relax during their long-haul flight - either in the executive lounge or in their private bedroom."
Jetalliance feels the cabin pressure altitude could be reduced further to increase the passenger comfort. But it adds: "There exists no major weakness because the ACJ is developed from the Airbus A319 which is very successfully operated by many major airlines."