is establishing a new structure for its Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) business.
The manufacturer is creating an internal organization that includes sales, customer support, engineering and other core functions for the corporate jets. According to John Leahy, chief operating officer-customers, the entity is to be ready by year-end and will mean “a new level of attentiveness” to the segment.
Airbus Middle East President Habib Fekih, who is now also head of the ACJ organization, says the reorganization enables Airbus to provide the same aircraft, cabin and services package as competitors. “The existing system has reached its limits,” Fekih says.
The change was announced at last week’s Dubai Air Show in the middle of what is the most important market for ACJs. Airbus has sold 170 corporate aircraft since the mid-1980s, 110 single-aisles and 60 wide-bodies. Of the 170, more than 50% were sold to Middle Eastern operators. Airbus does not disclose how many it has delivered.
The company announced another ACJ order by Comlux at the show. The operator signed a contract for one ACJ321 and is now the launch customer for the type. Comlux America will outfit the aircraft. Passenger versions of the recently terminatedwill be offered as used aircraft with VIP retrofits.
ACJ Sales VP Francois Chazelle admits that 2009 and 2010 were “difficult years” in the business jet market, but now he says, “The Middle East is stabilizing, China is growing, and the Russians are coming back.”