Today, there are more than 5,000 Airbus A320 twinjets in service and another 2,000 have already been ordered by airline companies around the world. Airbus started deliveries of the A320 in 1988, and compared with the original Boeing 737, which was designed in the early 1960s, the A320 has a wider and taller cabin and a slicker wing. It also features digital fly-by-wire controls.
The A320 private airliner, which has been available for VIP executive jet charter since 2000, has been improved substantially over the years. The latest enhancements include better cabin sound insulation and electronics, LED lighting and a new-style winglet called a Sharklet that boosts fuel economy and increases the model’s already hefty useful load by 1,100 pounds.
Compared with the standard Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ), which is based on the smaller A319, the executive version of the A320 (called the Prestige) has a 12-foot-longer cabin and holds nearly seven times as much luggage. It can do that because it has a shorter range, 4,300 nautical miles compared with the ACJ’s 6,000 (assuming you have four crew members and eight passengers). The ACJ is able to achieve that range because it substitutes the additional baggage space one would expect on an A320 with auxiliary fuel tanks.
Affluent travelers continue to charter the Airbus A320, and it has stood the test of time. However, many Americans who charter VIP configured airliners opt for executive 737s, called Boeing Business Jets (BBJs), for nonstop travel from the continental U.S. to Asia. With the A320, you would have to land for fuel along the way.
What one can do to the interior of an A320 cabin is nearly limitless. With more than 1,030 square feet of cabin floor space, one can order stand-up showers, gourmet galleys, private offices, theater rooms and just about anything else you care to install. However, do to the overall size of the aircraft, one does have limits as to which airports you can utilize. An A320 at maximum takeoff weight tips the scales at 169,800 pounds and needs 6,640 feet of runway to get airborne with a full load and nearly 5,000 feet to stop. Certain U.S. airports (such as those in Sun Valley, Idaho, and Teterboro, N.J.) continue to ban private aircraft that weigh more than 100,000 pounds.
However, working with the right private jet charter specialist will ensure the use of all the appropriate airports and facilities during your trip, as well as ensuring that your overall experience is safe and enjoyable.
For more information regarding the Airbus A320, or any other aircraft model, please contact RYL’s Charter Department at 877.391.6161.