The surge in private aviation that followed the pandemic is slowly declining. But this turbulence is encouraging innovation and accessibility in the sector: as a reaction, providers offer state-of-the-art aircraft and services while rendering the private jet elite progressively accessible.
Considering this wave of innovation, Elite Traveler has gathered the Top Jets in the World for 2024 in its latest database, which contains no less than six Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ).
ACJ is the private aviation arm of the giant of commercial airlines, Airbus. It has been the biggest competitor to Boeing Business Jets since its 1997 launch and as a bizliner, offers its converted commercial aircraft to private customers.
This repurposing gives the ACJ fleet the perks of both commercial and private transportation, from space and reliability to luxury and comfort. Yet, some characteristics of ACJ commercial jets can also limit the experience for a private passenger. Elite Traveler gathered all the information you need about ACJs.
What are the characteristics of Airbus Corporate Jets?
Just like Boeing Business Jets, ACJs’ main advantages stem from their original purpose as commercial airliners. In fact, the reinvention comes with a certain number of guarantees.
As commercial airlines are subjected to more safety regulations and requirements, their private counterparts are more reliable than other private jets. In the same way, the amount of space – initially designed for hundreds of passengers – becomes abundant for private clients. The enormous interior surface is specifically beneficial for business trips, as it allows flyers to have meeting rooms and working spots as well as large relaxation areas.
To make the most of this substantial space, ACJ opened its own creative studio in 2022 in Toulouse (France), where customers can see a real-size cabin of the ACJ TwoTwenty model and customize their own, with the help of virtual reality technology. ACJ allows flyers to design their sky office, from layout options to hundreds of choices of natural fabrics, carpets and handcrafted cabinets. The latest addition to the ACJ catalog is the Cyril Kongo edition, crafted by the French graffiti artist, who designed a colorful and singular cabin configuration.
Another advantage brought by ACJs’ commercial origin is the renowned fuel efficiency of its aircraft. The successful series of airliners that serve as a baseline for Airbus’ narrow-body planes (the A320 family) are among the models with the highest fuel efficiency in the industry, allowing them to have a particularly high range. A notable perk especially for business travelers with tight schedules, as the plane’s high range means it can avoid stopping to refuel.
However, all bizliners share a limitation. Their size and weight require them to take off and land on appropriate runways. This potentially prevents them from traveling to or from their preferred airports and could add commuting time between destinations.
What are the best Airbus Corporate Jets?
Airbus’ business fleet includes both narrow and wide-body jets, to accommodate almost every need, for business partners, families and close ones.
Airbus ACJ TwoTwenty
The TwoTwenty is the latest addition to the ACJ family, announced in October 2020. Its six living areas can accommodate up to 18 passengers, and the bespoke design configurations are among the most innovative on the market with over 100 options. The extra-large bizjet has a state-of-the-art engine, which allows for a tranquil and productive experience. Plus, its efficiency grants clients lower operating costs ($3,000-3,999 an hour).
Airbus ACJ350 XWB – 1000
ACJ350 XWB – 1000 is the newest VIP extra wide-body. With an 18ft 5in wide cabin and a 3,315 sq ft surface, there is enough space for 25 comfortable passengers. And its size does not compromise its range: flyers can work, relax, or enjoy onboard amenities for up to 22 uninterrupted hours. According to Airbus, the XWB-1000 innovative engine also allows for lower CO2 emissions and maintenance costs.
The most popular of ACJ widebody airliners, the 330neo can fly up to 25 passengers around the world non-stop. Having evolved from other Airbus models, the technical improvements of the 330neo make it 5% cheaper to maintain than its predecessor and burn 12% less fuel. The cabin air is renewed every two minutes and temperatures are adjustable in every zone.
How much do Airbus Corporate Jets cost?
While private jet buying prices are usually a well-kept secret, operating and maintenance costs are more accessible.
Due to its innovative designs which improve aircraft’s efficiency, ACJ has some ultra-modern jets to offer for a cheaper price than some of its competitors. The ACJ TwoTwenty is the cheapest bizliner in Elite Traveler’s Top Jets list while having extremely advanced features.
With endless design options, the cost is also dependent on clients’ choices and cabin preferences or needs.