VIP charter operator JETALLIANCE, based in Austria, has placed a firm order for an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), becoming the first Austrian customer.

JETALLIANCE Flugbetriebs AG is one of the world's leading business-jet enterprises, with a fleet of over 37 aircraft with an average age of only 3.5 years - one of the youngest in Europe. It operates under JAR OPS 1 in Europe, but is also FAA part 129 certificated, allowing it to fly commercially in the USA and Canada.

JETALLIANCE's Airbus ACJ will be powered by CFM International CFM56-5 engines. A choice of cabin outfitter has yet to be announced.

"Our customers demand privacy and want the best service that money can buy," says JETALLIANCE Holding Chief Executive Officer Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer, "and in the Airbus ACJ we have a cabin that delivers the ultimate in comfort plus the privacy of well separated comfort-zones."

Airbus' ACJ Family, which comprises the A318 Elite, the ACJ and the A320 Prestige, has won some 70 sales to date. It is the preferred choice of companies, governments and individuals, which appreciate its modern design and the support that comes with being a member of the world’s most successful airliner family.

"Our Airbus A320 Family, from which the ACJ is derived, outsold its direct competitor by almost two-to-one last year, so it comes as no surprise that VIP customers such as JETALLIANCE want a piece of the action too," says Airbus President and CEO Gustav Humbert.

Airbus' ACJ Family offers twice the cabin-width and three times the volume of traditional top-of-the-line business jets, delivering unmatched value for money in this important business jet segment.

The Airbus ACJ Family is by far the most modern design of any top-of-the-line business jet, delivering extra value in features such as fuel-saving wingtip-fences, cost-saving centralised maintenance and weight-saving composites. It also delivers on many other benefits that have become the hallmark of Airbus aircraft - such as a pilot-friendly common cockpit, fly-by-wire controls and category 3B autoland.

In addtion, the Airbus A320 Family's youthful design is backed by a host of practical advantages, such as outward-opening cargo-doors, a choice of engines and auxiliary power units, plus the certification to carry a profitable load of revenue-paying passengers on VIP flights.

Airbus is no stranger to customer-caring service to small fleets, with about a half of its operators flying five aircraft or less. Reliability is also a byword among Airbus A320 Family operators, with the last 250 aircraft in service consistently delivering an operational reliability of 99.6 per cent.

In recognition of the particular needs of private customers, Airbus has approved four speciality outfitters - Associated Air Center in Texas, Jet Aviation in Basle, Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg and EADS Sogerma in Toulouse - and can provide the peace of mind that comes with turnkey solutions.

JETALLIANCE group has been active in commercial aviation since 1996, and is involved in aircraft management, aircraft financing, asset management and charter, including via its company Avia Consult Flugbetriebs Ges.m.b.H, which acts on behalf of banks to provide asset management for over 70 aircraft worldwide.

Total sales of the Airbus A320 Family stand at more than 4,300, more than 2,700 of which have been delivered. The family has more than 200 customers and operators.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.