Private jet concept with a sundeck and dancefloor showcased at Dubai Airshow

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(Granthshala) – A helicopter with vegetarian seats, a private jet with a sundeck and garage, and a hotelier’s plan to hold a disco at 35,000 feet were all three concepts. It was unveiled at the Dubai Airshow last week, along with several others designed to lure VIP passengers back into the sky.

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Despite the aviation industry being one of the worst hit by the global pandemic, and criticism over its role in the climate crisis, demand for wealthy jetsetters shows no sign of slowing down.

Lufthansa Technik, an aircraft overhaul specialist and an affiliate of the German airline, wants to offer a private jet that offers an experience similar to a superyacht, taking owners anywhere at any time while also offering five-star hotels and base camps. also provides convenience. for leisure activities.

At the airshow, it made its appearance “Explorer” Cabin Concept For the wide-bodied Airbus A330, that includes a retractable sun deck (which only opens when parked), four double bedrooms, a gym and a garage.

The “Explorer” concept includes a large cargo door that opens after landing to reveal a superyacht-inspired sundeck.

Lufthansa Technic AG

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“We came up with the idea of ​​showing a plane that’s like a flying hotel, so that guests who are renting the plane can travel around the world in two weeks,” says Wayland Tim, VIP and K. Special mission aircraft for sale at Lufthansa Technic. In this way it will be a faster luxury travel option than a superyacht, he says, allowing passengers to get to different corners of the world within hours.

But such service comes at a heavy cost. Lufthansa Technic estimates that fitting the cabin to the 200-foot-long Airbus A330 will cost €100 million ($110 million), on top of the cost of the aircraft typically listed above $230 million. “It’s a huge investment,” says Tim.

Using the latest projection technology, the cabin's ceiling can be illuminated with virtual material upon guest's request, for example mimicking the sky outside.

Using the latest projection technology, the cabin’s ceiling can be illuminated with virtual material upon guest’s request, for example mimicking the sky outside.

Lufthansa Technic AG

Another, perhaps more affordable, “flying hotel” option was offered by FIVE, a Dubai-based real estate group that runs a chain of luxury hotels and resorts in the city. During the airshow, it bought a Airbus ACJ Tuventi, which it wants to use to ferry guests around the world from 2023.

Prior to this, it will revamp the 786-square-foot aircraft, with dining tables for eight passengers and a kitchen serving delicious cuisine from the best restaurants in Dubai. The hotelier’s in-house DJ will perform on board and there is a suite with a king-sized bed for anyone who wants an early night.

boom in private jets

These concepts are taking advantage of the growing demand for luxury jets. During the pandemic, as commercial aviation declined, wealthy travelers who wanted to escape the congested airplanes or the uncertainty of commercial flights boarded a private jet, For example, Florida-based private airline FlylightJets reported a 150% increase in bookings since the onset of Covid-19, and private jet charter VistaJet reported a 65% increase in demand for global flight hours across its brands since last March. Of.
According to American Aviation Manufacturers Honeywell AerospacePrivate jet sales are also on the rise, with aircraft makers reporting a strong increase in orders since the pandemic. The company anticipates delivering 7,400 new business jets worth $238 billion over the next decade.

“Commercial aviation has proven to be resilient and reliable and has received strong safety and security measures during the pandemic,” says Timothy Haus, managing director of Tarsus Middle East, which organizes the Dubai Airshow 2021.

Greener aircraft and narrow-body models rocked the Dubai Airshow.

The event, which was the aviation industry’s first major gathering since COVID-19, boosted confidence across the industry, Hayes tells Granthshala. Despite fears about the amount of business it would generate, he says more than $78 billion in deals were secured or announced during the five-day event and that it attracted more than 100,000 visitors.

“It was an excellent opportunity to come face-to-face for people who haven’t had such an opportunity in the last 20 months,” he says. “The Dubai Airshow was really the focal point that everyone in the industry was waiting for.”

He says the luxury jets generated a lot of tourist interest. Among the 175 aircraft on display during the event – representing all sectors from commercial to military – was a vegetarian helicopter from Airbus Corporate Helicopters.

At the request of wealthy customers Urs and Daniela Brunner, the company fitted the interior of its latest luxury model, the ACH145, with ultraleather, a synthetic material that mimics the real thing. According to Airbus, this was in keeping with the ethical values ​​of Daniela, whose fashion label Giulia & Romeo does not use animal products and donates profits to animal welfare.

Vegan upholstery, designed at the request of the super rich, was displayed at the airshow.

Vegan upholstery, designed at the request of the super rich, was displayed at the airshow.

Christian Keller

environmental cost

However, private jets have gained momentum despite concerns about their disproportionate impact on climate change. According to the Clean Transportation Campaign group, private jets emit five to 14 times more carbon dioxide per passenger than commercial flights Transport and Environment,

It is not known what the emissions per passenger for Lufthansa Technic’s Explorer concept will be. The Airbus A330 typically carries no more than 250 passengers, but the Explorer is designed for 12 VIPs, although its creators say they can develop other types that can carry up to 47.

Tim acknowledges that it wouldn’t make sense to fly with so few people to have a “green fingerprint”, but adds that “those who want to do it, will.”

He adds that some VIP customers are taking steps to be more environmentally friendly, for example, demanding reusable materials used in the cabin, and requesting new types of aircraft that are more fuel efficient. Or those with fewer engines.

But ultimately they have more comfort, security and privacy on their list of priorities, Tim says, and airlines and manufacturers will continue to meet that whenever there is demand.

This story has been updated to correct the number of bedrooms on the Explorer concept aircraft and to clarify passenger requests for the low-engine aircraft.


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