Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2010 Contents aircraft to the new, lower altitude standard.
Global demand for widebody VIP transports
continues, with the heavyweight players reporting
continuously solid business. Jet Aviation Chief
Executive O cer Peter Edwards said: "For rst-tier
players in the high-end completions business,
there will continue to be a good level of work for
the foreseeable future."
Rival Hamburg-based Lufthansa Technik (LHT)
has invested heavily in new facilities and sta ,
despite the downturn, and moved narrowbody
work to its Tulsa, Oklahoma subsidiary BizJet
International. Work on the second of eight A318
Elites started in January.
"As a result of upgrading its portfolio, BizJet sets
the stage to expand its business in the important US
market," said LHT s CEO August Henningsen.
Another European completions house expanding
in the US is Switzerland s Comlux Aviation. Its
Indianapolis centre works on larger aircraft types,
such as ACJs and BBJs, and also has approvals for
Bombardier Learjet, Challenger and Global models.
The company has just opened a large hangar, big
enough to accommodate Airbus A380/A350 or
Boeing 787 aircraft. Comlux has been an approved
BBJ completion centre since February.
In February, the company took delivery of its
rst VIP Airbus A320, which will be handed over to
a private customer in March 2011. "In two to three
years we aim to be one of the key players in cabin
completions," CEO Richard Gaona said.
Swiss-based newcomer AMAC Aerospace also
delivered its rst VIP A320 to a Middle Eastern head
of state this January. The 48-seat aircraft includes
a bedroom, shower and state-of-the-art cabin
entertainment system. In-flight entertainment
came in the form of audio and video on demand,
wireless and satellite communications. The Francis
Munch-designed installation took nine months,
thanks to careful project management by Cyprus-
based Altair Aero Projects. AMAC is headed by
former Jet Aviation chief Heinz Kohli, and now has
other aircraft in the pipeline.
Another new-ish entrant to the market is Air New
Zealand subsidiary Altitude Aerospace Interiors.
The company has already secured its rst Boeing
Business Jet contract for an Asian client and will
perform the out tting work at its Christchurch
facility. Michael Pervan, general manager said: "The
scope of work to complete the t-out will cover
entire electrical, entertainment and mechanical
system installation within the empty aircraft shell.
"The aircraft is due to arrive in 2012.
Other innovations on new jets come in the form
of better bathrooms. Designer Edese Doret, for
example, is working on a jacuzzi.
"It is a complex item that is all enclosed like a
shower," Doret said. The jacuzzi is connected to
the aircraft s ight management system, so that
when the captain puts the fasten seatbelt sign
on during turbulence the water drains to a water
tank. Everything on board has to be certi cated
for safety and big new concepts, such as jacuzzis
or steam rooms, take time to develop. Edese has
already created several state-of-the-art bathrooms
for widebody aircraft.
Alongside those that cater for new-build
aircraft, there are several world-renowned centres
that revamp older jets. Ontario s Flying Colours
completed its first Project Phoenix aircraft
conversion in June 2009. Launched at the Dubai
Air Show in November 2007, the 19-seat aircraft is
a derivative of the popular Bombardier CRJ regional
jet and is e ectively a Challenger 850 shuttle. The
aircraft was delivered to Macau-based charter
company Jet Asia in summer 2009.
Flying Colours has been producing its own
Execliner, another converted VIP variant of a CRJ200,
for several years. Bombardier has contracted the
company to out t green Challenger 850s and the
company delivered the rst to a client in Moscow
in 2009. Flying Colours has just sold an 850 to a
private customer in China and says that the Asian
market has huge potential. The rm has three more
green 850 completions in progress, plus two further
aircraft scheduled to arrive this year.
"It was easy for us to make the transition to the
850 after working on the CRJ200 airframe," said
Sean Gillespie, the company s director of sales and
Another popular conversion is BAE Systems Avro
Business Jet (ABJ), which debuted at last year s
Dubai Air Show. The ABJ is an RJ70 delivered in late
2008 to Bulgaria Air after conversion by British rm
In ite Engineering Services.
The brainchild of Design Q of the UK, the modern
mood-lit cabin has double, club-4 executive seating
in a dining and divan area at the front, with a
separate, 12-seat business-class cabin at the rear.
Sliding pocket doors separate the two cabin areas.
The front entrance area has been converted into
a welcoming bar with a 42-inch plasma television
screen, as well as a number of smaller TV screens
with multi-channel access. Full in- ight connectivity
is also o ered.
According to ABJ Vice-President Stewart Cordner:
"The combination of a pre-owned BAe 146/Avro
RJ together with an innovative interior results in
a strong, cost-e ective contender for the larger
business jet market and at a fraction of the cost and
timescale of new production line aircraft."the aircraft
has proved especially successful in the Middle East
where it is in service with the presidential ight of
Abu Dhabi and the Bahrain Defence Force.
The Dornier 328 has also proved to be a popular
model for conversion. Oberpfa enhofen, Germany
based 328 Support Services recently launched its
latest US$9 million Dornier 328Jet variant, which
obtained approval from the US Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) last November. The aircraft
features a new galley, Swift Broadband internet,
all-electric blinds, full high de nition IFE and a new
The company holds the type certi cate for the
Dornier 328Jet and 328 turboprop and provides
worldwide support to the 200-strong eet. It has
developed several VIP interiors, which are in service
"We are constantly developing our thinking and
our next interior will have two bulkhead monitors
and Air Cell phone access," said Ray Mosses, 328
Support Services head of sales. "We see a good
market for the jet in this region."
Switzerland s RUAG Aerospace is pursuing
plans to develop its large-cabin business aircraft
completions business. The company teamed
with Austria s List Components & Furniture in
2009 and the joint venture has so far refurbished
two Embraer Legacy 600s and a Bombardier
In the companies rst project, they installed a
List stone oor in an Embraer Legacy 600 at RUAG s
service centre in Oberpfa enhofen, Germany. The
exible layer of stone is 1.2mm (0.05 inch) thick
and was made by sticking slivers of granite onto
a special foil and "microbreaking" it, so it can be
adapted to curved surfaces on the entrance and
lavatory areas in business aircraft.
This year, the JV also tted-out a Bombardier
Global 5000 with stone ooring for the Canadian
aircraft manufacturer. ●
Customers for the BAE Systems Avro Business Jet include the presidential flight of Abu Dhabi.
26 AsianAviation | MAY 2010
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