Geneva - After the reception of the world's first Airbus A318 Elite with a VIP and executive interior by Swiss business jet operator Comlux Aviation, Lufthansa Technik, the leading provider for VIP & Executive Jet Solutions, is gearing up for one of the company's most comprehensive completion programs.
"Only four months were needed to get the first A318 Elite for Comlux off the completion line in Hamburg and now the preparations are under way to provide two dedicated production lines for A318 Elite completions," said Walter Heerdt, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales at Lufthansa Technik, who has been involved from day one in the project. "With now more than 20 A318 Elite on order the market was definitely ready for a standardized VIP interior which is available on shorter notice for a very competitive price."
"We are very pleased with the interior of our new Airbus A318 Elite and the support Lufthansa Technik has given to us during the design and completion phase of this brand-new VIP aircraft," said Comlux CEO Ettore Rodaro after returning from the first intercontinental flight to the United States. "Several different zones in the cabin providing unmatched privacy for work and relaxation for even the most diverse groups and delegations mean that we will be able to offer a much more attractive product on business and VIP charters, especially with many seats that can be converted into flat-beds for overnight flights."
Airbus has selected Lufthansa Technik as its partner for the cabin completion of the Airbus A318 Elite, the newest member of the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) family. The A318 Elite is derived from the airliner and is offered with a generally standardized VIP cabin fit. In two different versions the airplane comfortably seats 14 or 18 passengers and offers various operational advantages like its steep-approach certification, which will facilitate flights to airports constrained by noise rules and obstacles.
A choice in the material and color selection allows the creation of a very individual cabin interior. To accelerate completion times, Lufthansa Technik selected new ways to create the interior: all wooden surfaces are made of decorative film coating (DFC) instead of real wood, offering unlimited design possibilities and the highest durability - an immense advantage for charter operators. All designs could be either offered in a high gloss or satin finish. A few years ago this technology was at a stage were surfaces looked like inexpensive wood veneer imitations. As of today Lufthansa Technik uses the enhanced technology as an alternative of equal quality at superior properties compared to real wood. Even experienced carpenters need to investigate the surfaces carefully to identify the DFC material.
All in all the Elite design style appears puristic and timeless - giving a broader bandwidth of customers the chance to personalize the aircraft to their needs by the selection of various materials for seats, divans, carpets, bulkheads or ceilings. To give the cabin an exciting appearance, a seamless transition between hard and soft as well as light and dark material surfaces has been chosen. LED lighting has been integrated to provide a relaxing ambience and is complemented by pre-programmed lighting settings for dining, sleeping, entertaining etc.
While the overall concept of the Elite program including the floor plan configuration has been determined by Airbus, Lufthansa Technik and its in-house design team turned the rough basic ideas into a 3D reality. Protruding design elements like the "monitor towers" for the LCD screen - there are four 20-inch, one 30-inch and one 42-inch display installed - stand 2 inches out of the normal bulkhead and have different materials applied on it. Repeating design elements which connect e.g. the side ledges and the fold-out tables visualize the architectural design concept of the interior.
Working for many years now on the ACJ family and having delivered various Airbus ACJs and A319LRs to individual clients, charter or scheduled VIP jet operators, the Airbus A318 Elite will be a key product of Lufthansa Technik's Completion Center and strengthen its cooperation with Airbus in the area of VIP and Executive Jet Solutions.
Lufthansa Technik is not only an Authorized Completion Center for the ACJ family but also part of Airbus ACJ family Service Centre network. Service Centres organise the provision of a variety of services - such as those of fixed base operators (FBOs) - up to flight and cabin crews, flight operations support and maintenance.