Farnborough Air Show

Now a haute couture bizjet

 - November 16, 2006, 12:00 PM

Bringing new meaning to the old line–“If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it”–the TAG Group of Switzerland and Gianni Versace of Italy just three months ago at the Milan Furniture Fair announced their new partnership to create exclusive custom interiors for large-cabin business jets. Yesterday here in Farnborough the two companies revealed their first concepts for “Versace jets.”

How exclusive will the interiors be? “Each design will be unique,” said Bijan Khezri, managing director of TAG Aircraft Interiors Ltd., which TAG formed soon after making the announcement in Milan. Like fine art, each aircraft interior will be numbered and signed. TAG Aircraft Interiors will act as marketing and sales agents for the partnership.

TAG president Mansour Ojjeh said he expects the Versace interiors will appeal to very wealthy individuals, who have much pride in their airplanes and want something personal, rather than corporate customers more interested in the utility advantages of business aviation. “We want the Versace style to be translated to an aircraft interior,” he said. “The idea is to get away from the cookie-cutter airplane interiors that are now popular with many manufacturers.”

TAG does not plan to complete the interiors itself and has already begun consultation with several larger, high-end completions centers, Jet Aviation among them. Though they’ll be Versace-inspired, the interiors will obviously still need to comply with aviation regulations and take into consideration aircraft weight. This is one reason TAG is focusing only on business jets with large cabins, starting about the size of a Challenger 604. However, the core models will likely be larger business jets, such as the Global Express XRS and Global 500, the Gulfstream G550 and the Boeing BBJ.

“There will be a considerable premium over the usual completion,” said Khezri when pressed on price.

An observer explained Versace pricing to Aviation International News this way: “Let’s say you can buy a dress off the rack for $150. You can buy that same dress with a designer label for $3,000. But if you want the dress with a Versace label, it will cost you $80,000.”

Ojjeh said TAG (Chalet B26 and K15-16) is already talking to several potential customers for “Versace jets” and might be able to make an order announcement by the close of the Farnborough airshow.