The latest delivery of a green widebody bizliner and forthcoming service entry of its newest corporate airliner lead the developments highlighted this week at EBACE by Airbus Corporate Jets (Booth Z43, Static AD5).
Airbus Corporate Jets announced in February the delivery of what will become the first ACJ330-300 to Germany’s K5 Aviation, now under completion at Fokker Techniek in the Netherlands. That ACJ330-300 was built in 2018 with an airline-configured interior and stored for three years until purchased in June by a undisclosed private buyer and delivered to K5 in December.
With a 15-foot longer fuselage than the ACJ330-200 Prestige’s, the -300 offers more than 2,600 sq ft of interior space and will become the canvas for what the VIP airliner operations specialist calls a “modern, stylish design.” Redelivery is slated for 2024, and K5 will operate the jet for its owner and the charter market.
The ACJ330-200 platform has already established its suitability for the private market, and the airframe also serves as the palette for the Explorer VIP cabin concept Lufthansa Technik is presenting at EBACE.
At NBAA-BACE in October, Airbus Corporate Jets showcased K5’s newly completed ACJ319neo, which includes four large living areas with lie-flat beds and king size bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and stand-up shower. K5 had hoped to bring this neo to EBACE but “couldn’t find an open slot” in its charter schedule, K5 director Luca Madone told AIN.
Meanwhile the ACJ TwoTwenty—the newest member of the Airbus Corporate Jets family—is nearing its scheduled early 2023 service entry. For the executive variant of the Airbus A220 narrowbody, Airbus Corporate Jets has partnered with the Swiss VIP aircraft specialist and operator Comlux Group and its U.S.-based Comlux Completion center to produce and install preconfigured yet customizable interiors for the first 15 TwoTwentys. At least six orders for the aircraft—three from launch customer Comlux itself—are on the books.
The first green TwoTwenty arrived at Comlux Completion in Indianapolis in early January, delivered from the Airbus A220 final assembly line in Mirabel, Canada.
Airbus Corporate Jets president Benoit Defforge termed the delivery “a major milestone in the business aviation industry,” and the new offering, “an unbeatable value proposition to the large business jet market."
The TwoTwenty combines intercontinental range and expansive personal space in a relatively low-cost VIP package. According to Comlux, the cabin is 50 percent longer with twice the floor space of an ultra-long-range business jet and includes six living areas, each about twice as large as the two or three individual living zones on most large-cabin jets.
Living area configuration options include a cinema room with a 55-inch OLED screen, double bed, full shower, and dual galleys—one for meal preparation and cleanup, the other for presentation and serving. Ionization air filtration systems and full-color spectrum LED cabin lighting are also available options.
The preconfigured interiors approach will speed completion time and reduce expense, bringing the cost below the top price of a new long-range business jet (about $72 million), according to the European consortium.
For added flair, in September Airbus Corporate Jets introduced with artist Cyril Kongo, aka Mr. Colorful, a special-edition cabin for the TwoTwenty, curated to allow passengers to properly rest or enjoy fine dining with valued friends and family, “while admiring all the colors that life has to offer,” the company said. The special edition design in the main lounge will feature carefully branded textures, fabrics, and hand painting by the artist.
Additionally, Comlux is bringing several innovations to the TwoTwenty, including adjustable variable light transmission windows, a double pocket door that enhances the interior’s feeling of spaciousness, and inductive charging throughout the cabin. The latter enables passengers to recharge cellphones and personal devices by placing them on surfaces throughout the aircraft.
Comlux has already resold the first TwoTwenty to Dubai-based luxury hospitality and investment company Five.
Airbus Corporate Jets has also been developing innovative technology, and at Dubai Airshow in November signed an agreement with Riyadh-based Alpha Star Aviation for Airbus Corporate Jets' new Smart LiFi Monitor in-flight entertainment technology. Developed with Latecoere, the system is designed to be an easy plug-and-play solution, with its smart 4K monitor offering Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LiFi (Light Fidelity) connectivity.
LiFi, a wireless communication technology, uses light to transmit data, allowing analog and digital audio output, USB-C ports, 3G-SDI input, and HDMI connections. The Smart LiFi Monitor also includes audio/video on demand, casting, mirroring, web browser, live TV, moving map, and its own integrated videoconferencing. Alpha Star selected 12 of these monitors for three of its Airbus corporate jets toward its goal of providing a “best in class passenger experience.”