PrivatAir adds two ACJs to all-business-class runs

 - January 21, 2008, 9:27 AM

With the addition of two more business aircraft in shuttle configuration to provide nonstop service between Germany and the U.S., Swiss aviation services group PrivatAir is carving a substantial niche for itself in that emerging all-business-class market.

PrivatAir already operates a daily all-business-class nonstop flight on behalf of Lufthansa between Dusseldorf Airport, Germany, and Newark Liberty International Airport, N.J. The Boeing Business Jet, which is in a 48-seat shuttle configuration, makes the daily Dusseldorf-Newark run every day of the week except Tuesday.

The two new aircraft–long-range Airbus Corporate Jetliners this time, instead of BBJs–will also be operated on behalf of Lufthansa. One will provide nonstop service between Munich, Germany, and Newark, starting in May. The other will offer the same nonstop service between Dusseldorf and Chicago O’Hare International, starting June 9. Subject to slot agreements, the Munich-Newark flights will operate every day except Wednesday. The Dusseldorf-Chicago run will operate every day but Saturday. Tariffs will be set by Lufthansa, and pricing is expected to be competitive with existing business-class tickets on airline flights for the same city pairs.

PrivatAir owns both of the new ACJs and will operate the aircraft under a wet-lease agreement with Lufthansa, providing aircraft, crews, maintenance and insurance as well. The service is being marketed by Lufthansa through its existing Amadeus reservation system.

The two ACJ interiors, installed by Airbus component EADS, will include power ports for laptop computers and a DVD entertainment system.

Four auxiliary fuel tanks installed by Airbus will give the aircraft a max range of 4,500 nm.

“With this level of service, we believe that we’re setting the standard in business-class travel,” said PrivatAir CEO Greg Thomas.

Headquartered in Geneva, PrivatAir manages a fleet of more than 50 aircraft, ranging from a King Air to an executive Boeing 757. Services include aircraft charter for VIPs and executives, corporate shuttle, private tours, ground services and aircraft sales and management. In addition to the BBJ outfitted for the all-business-class service between Dusseldorf and Newark, PrivatAir also operates two executive/VIP configured BBJs, one for 26 passengers and the other for 16 passengers.