"I'm here to prepare for the arrival of the ACJ TwoTwenty,” Airbus Corporate Jets commercial v-p Chadi Saade told AIN this week at LABACE 2022, where he's a guest of exhibitor Airbus Helibras subsidiary. Another ACJ model made a single, imposing appearance at Latin America's premier business aviation show years ago but has been absent since. "Now we have the product for the market,” Saade said, explaining the planned return to LABACE.
The ACJ TwoTwenty is the business aviation version of the A220, which started out as the Bombardier C Series. Saade calls it a "game changer” because of the ACJ TwoTwenty’s price and cabin size, contrasted with other business jets in terms of size, operating cost, range, and reliability. "It's twice the cabin size, at a similar price," he said, also noting the ACJ’s large cross-section. The difference in size allows for a full-size dining table and a stand-up shower.
Lower operating costs and increased reliability he ascribes to the jet’s origin as a product for airlines, where cost is king, not only do airlines demand low operating costs but low maintenance expenses. An airliner will typically fly in a year what a business jet will fly in 10 years. "It's a workhorse," Saade said. The A220 fleet, with some 200 delivered and 700 sold, has surpassed a million flight hours, which means the airplane has matured. He also suggested a comparison of the price of spare parts between those of the A220, priced for the commercial market, with business jet parts prices.
Saade said the ACJ TwoTwenty brings an additional quality: range. ”The TwoTwenty has the range to fly nonstop from São Paulo to Miami or to London,” he noted. The 12-hour flight range—5,650 nm—"will handle 98 percent of destinations.”
The major difficulty in selling the ACJ TwoTwenty is not being able to show it, which is why Saade wants to bring it to LABACE in the future. "That's not a commitment, but it's a goal we're working toward,” he said.
The first green TwoTwenty is undergoing completion at Comlux’s facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, and it should enter service early next year.