Lufthansa Technik Opens Up The Airbus A220

A new aircraft spurs new thinking, and the German completions center has thought outside the box for what might become the latest addition to Airbus’ VIP family, the A220 (formerly the Bombardier CSeries).

Smaller and less expensive than an Airbus ACJ320neo, but larger than a Gulfstream for a similar price, the A220 could appeal to the younger ultra-rich or uber-successful between 20 and 40 years of age. Notably, Lufthansa Technik launched the concept to great acclaim at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show.

The centerpiece of the concept is the observation deck, which for the first time in VIP aviation extends the passenger cabin seamlessly into the aircraft´s flight deck – allowing all occupants (except perhaps the flight crew) to enjoy unprecedented and totally immersive views of new horizons. Like traditional chauffeurs, the pilots will look sternly ahead while their young charges sip champagne and party in the cabin behind.

A see-through bulkhead separates the cockpit from the cabin so the crew is not distracted while the passengers share their flight experience. It has already been discussed with the certification authorities, says Wieland Timm, senior director for sales, VIP, and special mission aircraft at Lufthansa Technik.

The latest high-end technologies are discreetly integrated into the cabin’s design, he notes, from smart-touch surfaces and a distinctive lighting concept to an open deck with a center buffet as the main
element. This multifunctional element allows flexible utilization in any direction; a DJ console can be switched into a catering buffet or a gaming interface in seconds, creating an individual way of living onboard.

“With its immersive observation deck and technical features, SkyRetreat provides a revolution when it comes to offering a unique and pure flying experience,” Timm says. Tailoring the concept to the Airbus A220, we are targeting an entirely new business section in which especially first-time VIP jet owners benefit from this extremely versatile design for a reasonable investment.

“I think the younger generation will love it!” he says.

John Morris

John has led Aviation Week's ShowNews, the best-read daily news magazine of aerospace trade shows, for nearly two decades. His background in business journalism before joining Aviation Week includes stints at Reuters, the American Banker daily banking newspaper and as business news editor at the Milwaukee Journal and the Cincinnati Enquirer.


 

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