The UB Group, one of India's largest companies and the parent company of Kingfisher Airlines, is to acquire an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), becoming the first Indian customer.

Delivery of the outfitted Airbus ACJ will be in summer 2006, and it will be powered by International Aero Engines V2500s.

"In the world of big business, time is money, and a corporate jetliner is a vital tool that can help our company to save both," says UB Group Chairman Dr Vijay Mallya. "My philosophy has always been to strive for the best - in the products of the UB Group as well as in the way we run our business - so it should come as no surprise that the our company has chosen the Airbus ACJ."

Kingfisher Airlines inaugurated services among cites within India earlier this month, using a brand-new fleet of modern Airbus A320s that features the widest seats in its class, personal TV screens for an unparalleled in-flight experience, the most spacious cabin, and the most modern design. Its 'fly the good times approach' capitalises on the emerging market among the younger generation in India.

"We are delighted to have a business of the UB Group's calibre as our first Airbus ACJ family customer in India, and look forward to delivering a productive asset that will make full use of the unmatched spaciousness that the aircraft's cabin provides," says Airbus Vice President Executive and Private Aviation Richard Gaona.

The Airbus ACJ Family has the best cabin in its class, with twice the width of traditional business jets and three times the volume. Based on the A319 - part of the world's most modern and successful airliner family - the Airbus ACJ family is unique in being certificated for public transport, and in offering fly-by-wire and Category 3B autoland. Yet it costs about the same as competing top-of-the-line business jets, delivering unmatched quality and value.

In addition to the modern airframe of the A319, the Airbus ACJ family features up to six extra fuel-tanks in the cargo hold for increased, intercontinental, range, a higher cruise altitude of 41,000 ft, and a richer specification.

These features make the Airbus ACJ Family a powerfully productive business tool, with the ability to meet virtually any need. The ACJ can fly ten executives in a VIP layout up to 6,000 nm/11,100 km, for example, enough to fly non-stop routes such as from Delhi or Mumbai to London. It can also carry 48 passengers in exclusive comfort up to 4,500 nm/8,300 km.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.