Airbus Corporate Jets launched its new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330/340 widebodies today at MEBA 2012. The concept is applicable to A330s and A340s, which essentially have the identical cabins between doors two and three. In this cabin zone, Airbus proposes the installation of a VVIP fit encompassing a master bedroom, master office and conference area. Governments requiring head-of-state aircraft are seen as the main potential customers.
With Gala, Airbus is seeking to reduce the cost and delivery time for widebody VIP aircraft. Under a traditional procurement program, an airframe would be acquired, followed by the design and engineering of the custom interior and then the actual installation would take place. Under Gala, the interior would be pre-engineered and ready for fitting when the aircraft arrives. The interior installation could be pre-bid to achieve cost savings, and the whole procurement process would be accomplished in as little as 18 months–six months of pre-engineering phase, followed by 12 months of installation.
While Gala is aimed at all A330s and A340s, the A340-500 is the most obvious candidate since it offers the greatest range of the family. Although the A340 is now out of production, ex-airline aircraft are becoming available, Airbus said.