Airbus has $17.5 billion worth of corporate aircraft on order as it looks to selling more private jets to the Middle East by the end of the year, said a senior official at the firm.

The list price for an A318 Elite is $62 million and the Airbus Corporate Jetliner is $75 million.

The total value of corporate jet sales to date is $17.5 billion, Airbus confirmed.

“2009 is a slow year and we expect 2010 to be a recovery year,” said Francois Chazelle, vice president, executive and private aviation at Airbus Middle East.

VIP charter operator AJA will receive their first A318 Elite in June 2010 with three more to follow as it looks to securing a portion of the region’s lucrative private charter market.

AJA is the first Middle East-based operator to select Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) Family aircraft for VVIP charters and has ordered four A318 Elites and two Airbus ACJs.

Saudi Arabia is the largest market for the Airbus’ corporate and private planes, accounting for 20 of the 160 sold worldwide. The UAE and Qatar both accounted for 10.

Saudi royal and billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bought an A380 Prestige, the biggest private plane available.

The Middle East is a traditional market for corporate jets, absorbing almost 50 per cent of all the corporate aircraft sold, said Chazelle

Airbus say there are further negotiations in the pipeline which may lead to potential orders and sales during Dubai Airshow which starts on Sunday.