Airbus is here displaying an ACJ business jet (tail number G-NOAH) that recently started commercial operations with Farnborough, UK-based Acropolis Aviation. The bizliner’s luxurious 19-passenger cabin features lounges, a bedroom and a bathroom with a substantial shower. Acropolis Aviation is chartering G-NOAH for $15,000 to $18,000 per hour, depending on the length of the trip.
Yves Pickardt of Alberto Pinto International Interior Design designed the cabin. The Airbus Corporate Jet Center (ACJC) in Toulouse manufactured it. What appears original at first sight is the use of leather–not only on seats but also on parts of the walls and ceiling. Some areas of the cabin can be reconfigured, such as one club seating area that can accommodate an eight-person table for meals. The galley looks like a real kitchen and is U-shaped. The idea is to cook in flight, not simply reheat catered food in the oven. Moreover, the owner of the aircraft wanted to keep the possibility to use the kitchen.
The cabin is equipped with satellite TV and Internet. With a “GSM on board” system, passengers can use their own mobile phones in flight. Cabin temperature, lighting and some in-flight entertainment controls are centralized on touchscreen controls on the walls for flight attendant–as opposed to passenger–use. Cabin soundproofing has been a major focus and noise is thus down to 50 dB, ACJC head of sales and marketing Bruno Galzin told AIN.
Less visible are the huge number of stowage drawers and bins. They are useful for storing blankets, cushions, pillows and so on, as the aircraft can sleep 14. Passengers can also use the drawers to stow their own stuff.
“Our first commercial flight took place on April 14, which was when we got our AOC,” Acropolis CEO David Crawshaw told AIN. The operator is planning on flying some 600 hours in its first year. So far the typical load has been “half a dozen” passengers.
The aircraft was first specified to be fitted with five auxiliary fuel tanks, thus allowing for nonstop flights from Europe to the U.S. West Coast. But, according to Crawshaw, it quickly turned out the remaining space for luggage was too small. “This kind of passenger travels with a tremendous amount of luggage,”
he said. With three auxiliary fuel tanks now, G-NOAH can fly nonstop to the only eastern U.S., but passengers can take 70 to 80 bags with them.
Typical crew includes two pilots, three flight attendants and one ground support engineer.