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What a difference a seat in the corner office makes — even at 30,000 feet.
Airbus has announced that TAG Farnborough Airport-based Acropolis Aviation is the launch customer for its ACJ320neo. The luxury charter company will add the newest version of its A320, in a corporate jet configuration, to complement its ACJ319 aircraft. This new version of the plane adds 150 square feet more cabin room for a total of 1,033 square feet, and has upgraded environmental technologies which improve cabin conditions, including reduced cabin noise.
The A319 and A320 aircraft are the popular workhorses of many airlines around the world. Some of your favorite low-cost airlines, from easyJet to Spirit, JetBlue, and Virgin America, even legacy airlines like American, Delta, United, and Air France, fly this family of aircraft.
In fact this is one of the most popular mid-range aircraft in the skies today, a close competitor to Boeing’s own 737s. Airbus has recently worked with its suppliers to increase the cabin capacity of the plane from 180 to 189 passengers, but the corporate jet version’s maximum seating capacity — in what is classified as a VVIP (Very, Very Important Person) configuration — will be 19. The new configuration can also hold up to 140 passenger bags — without those added baggage check-in fees.
While images of this new corporate cabin are still unavailable, the cabin of the ACJ319 gives us some idea of what we might expect inside.
Because these jets are most used for corporate trips, they include seats, sofas and meeting tables for executives and staff to review agendas before arriving at their destination. Though there is a full-sized double bed for the boss, seats and sofas are convertible to beds for other passengers in the night configuration. The master bathroom includes a shower, and the galley kitchen is sufficient for the preparation of a variety of in-flight meals.
During downtime, Acropolis promises passengers will enjoy the latest In-flight entertainment technology, something many passengers on the commercial versions of this aircraft also enjoy. Like the rest of us, corporate passengers can stay connected to the ground with in-flight Wi-Fi.
“IFE and cabin connectivity is advancing at a rapid pace and we will ensure that our aircraft has the very latest technology, and is optimally configured for both work and leisure,” says Acropolis CEO Jonathan Bousfield. “We look forward to keeping the charter community updated on developments as we progress towards service.”
For Acropolis, the A320neo adds range and increases the value of its service for executives who need to travel to faraway destinations for their meetings.
“Our ACJ319 with its 10-hour non-stop range is extremely popular in the high-end charter market, especially in the Middle East, USA and Europe. With the new aircraft we will gain an improved range of 6,000nm/11,100km, which means clients can fly from London to Los Angeles Johannesburg or Tokyo direct and London to Sydney with one refueling stop,” says Bousfield.
Though it’s dramatically different from the experience of commercial passengers on the same aircraft, none of this is over-the-top for VVIP configurations which can range from offices in the clouds to flying palaces.