Airbus has announced today the delivery of the world’s first ACJ TwoTwenty, a business jet based on the A220-100, to launch customer Comlux. The aircraft is in flight at the moment, and should arrive with Comlux in Indianapolis shortly. Comlux is undertaking a VIP installation of the jet on behalf of FIVE, a hotel group based in Dubai.
ACJ TwoTwenty is delivered
The world’s first ACJ TwoTwenty has today been delivered to the launch customer. The jet, based on the A220-100 aircraft, is the smallest business jet to be produced by Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) and is set to become an interesting competitor in the large private jet sphere.
Earlier today, the first ACJ TwoTwenty was officially handed to its new owner at the Airbus A220 Final Assembly Line in Mirabel, Canada. There, it accepted its new registration – 9H-FIVE – which is a nod to its eventual owner, FIVE Hotels based in Dubai.
But the aircraft is not yet ready to head over to Dubai. Before it can begin shuttling VIP hotel guests around the FIVE properties, it needs its swanky new interior installed. Among the features planned for the first TwoTwenty are 16 seats, a dining table for eight, and a master suite with king size bed and shower.
The jet will use electro-chromatic window shades, like the Dreamliner windows, and will provide non-stop high-speed internet connectivity. Also onboard will be two ultra-large 55-inch screens, full LED lighting and a full kitchen galley. The TwoTwenty will be capable of flying for 12 hours nonstop, opening an incredible range of destinations from FIVE’s home in Dubai
The ACJ is being fitted out by luxury interior experts Comlux Completion, at the company’s facility in Indianapolis. Right now, the A220 is on its way to the city, having taken off from Mirabel at just after 10:00 this morning (EST). At present, it is on approach to Indianapolis and has begun its descent to the airport.
Fitting is expected to take around a year, with the final delivery to FIVE anticipated in early 2023. The jet will be operated by Comlux Aviation, under the Swiss firm’s AOC in Malta, although the two flight attendants onboard will be from FIVE’s own staff.
Is bigger better?
When it comes to private jets, it seems that the trend today is all about bigger being better. Although smaller aircraft are more attractive to the bank balance, they lack the intercontinental abilities of their larger cousins. Full-on airliners like the A319, A320 and even up to the 767 and the Queen herself have become popular with the uber-rich, but the huge cost of acquisition means they aren’t for everyone.
That makes the market segment of the ‘large business jet’ a very attractive proposition indeed. Aircraft like the Gulfstream G650ER or the Global 6000 have the range to make international trips, but are priced in the tens of millions of dollars, rather than the hundreds of millions for an airliner.
But the ACJ TwoTwenty kicks this up a notch, almost creating its own niche in the marketplace. The size of the A220 makes it an ‘Xtra Large Bizjet’, with around three times the space of a traditional business jet. The full height ceilings, 73 square meters of floor space, and state-of-the-art materials mean the ACJ TwoTwenty is going to be a formidable competitor in this marketplace, further aided by its $80 million price tag.