Airbus S.A.S. is the number two commercial jet manufacturer in the world and they entered the corporate jet aircraft market in 1997 with the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) family of aircraft. Airbus S.A.S. is owned by EDAS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V.), which is the leading aerospace company in Europe and was formed by the uniting of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA, Germany), Aerospatiale Matra (France), and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA, Spain). In addition to the Airbus airplane product line, EDAS also builds Eurocopter helicopters, satellites, and military aircraft.
In the corporate jet market Airbus offers two types of aircraft, the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) family and the VIP wide-bodies. The Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) family is a spacious top-of-the-line corporate jet born out of the Airbus A318 and A320 commercial jet series. The Airbus aircrafts were first launched in 1997 and unlike their smaller competitors, Airbus jets can efficiently fly short-range, medium-haul and intercontinental routes with unbeatable comfort and excellent reliability. Their ability to make Category 3B automatic landings in the poorest visibility helps passengers to arrive at their destination, even in bad weather.
In 2006, Airbus signed nearly two-thirds of the orders booked worldwide for large, top-of-line corporate jets with their Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) series; approximately 80 aircraft worldwide.
The newest Airbus airplane is the A318 Elite, which offers greater levels of cabin comfort than currently available with competing business jets. As the smallest Airbus jet version, the A318 Elite is affordable alternative for customers whose needs can be fulfilled with a shorter cabin and less range, as well as an excellent entry-level corporate aircraft for new operators. Airbus has defined two cabin layouts for the A318 Elite that seat up to 14 and 18 passengers, with seats and settees clustered in several separate zones throughout the cabin.
The VIP wide-body aircraft are specially designed corporate jetliners based on Airbus’ wide body jets, such as the A330 and A340 series, for corporate, government, or private individuals. The custom features can include number of rooms, type of furniture, cabin layout, bedrooms, bathroom amenities, galley amenities, and the décor.
Airbus also has a Corporate Jetliner Centre located in Miami, FL, which features a fully equipped cabin-section that demonstrates the greater width and volume that Airbus airplanes offer over traditional top-of-the-line business jets.