Arnaud Martin, Chief Strategy and corporate development officer, Comlux Group answers Elite Wings’ questions
Airbus and Comlux worked together to define a flexible cabin catalogue for the ACJ TwoTwenty which offers multiple cabin arrangements. It includes a wide range of layouts and options that customers can select to match their needs and requirements. Three interior ambiances have been defined to inspire customers and help them to create their most wanted cabin interior.
Picture: (c) Airbus
Comlux worked jointly with the ACJ team, sharing its long experience in operating and completing all types of aircraft, and bringing to the ACJ TwoTwenty program the latest cabin innovations available in the industry.
In October 2020, Airbus’s announcement of the launch of the ACJ TwoTwenty business jet brought a lot of industry premiers including the first-time flexible cabin catalogue offering in a Bizliner and an exclusive partnership with Comlux for the cabin outfitting of this 73m²/785 ft² “ Xtra Large Bizjet”. What attracted Comlux to this new program?
Comlux’s interest in the A220 aircraft family started before the acquisition of the program by Airbus in 2017. The unique combination of intercontinental range, comfort, extra space, second-to-none economics, and the reduced environmental footprint has convinced us for a long time that this aircraft could be a winner in the business aviation market. We are proud to have been selected by ACJ to outfit the cabin of the ACJ TwoTwenty in our completion center in Indianapolis.
Our long experience in bizjet operations and completion has helped us to develop an all-new business jet cabin combining the best of comfort with the latest cabin innovations available in the industry, such as Electro chromatic window shades, 55-in screens, inductive chargers…etc.
We are convinced that the ACJ TwoTwenty is a game changer in the industry, and this is why we have also became the launch customer of the program.
What is Comlux’s scope of work in the ACJ TwoTwenty program?
Comlux Completion Center in Indianapolis is in charge of the engineering, manufacturing, installation, and certification of the VIP cabin of the first 15 ACJ TwoTwenty. We have been working together with Airbus on defining the design and developing innovative engineering solutions for almost two years already. This is a totally new aircraft on the market that requires extensive planning internally, as well as a very strong co-operation with Airbus at every stage of the program.
Comlux has a long experience completing highly customized Bizliners interiors. What does it take to develop an industrial interior completion line for the ACJ TwoTwenty program?
To support this program, Comlux Completion center introduced a new Virtual Reality tool specially developed for the ACJ TwoTwenty program. This tool allows customers to immerse themselves into the future cabin environment. It also provides a virtual interactive capability that allows the interior to be analyzed from an ergonomic, equipment functionality and maintainability standpoint.
Since the interior installation is more industrialized, Comlux has put in place rigorous configuration management processes and tools allowing to streamline the definition, manufacturing, installation, and certification of the 6-zones VIP interior.
What is the expected completion cycle for an airplane this size?
The first ACJ TwoTwenty will take around 12 months to complete. Comlux aims at reducing the interior completion cycle to around 8 Months for the next aircraft.
The dedicated ACJ TwoTwenty completion line can accommodate 3 to 4 aircraft per year. If market demand requires and green aircraft slot availability allows, we can ramp up production to 6 aircraft per year. This completion process will be the most efficient, stringent, and reliable we have ever achieved.
The ACJ TwoTwenty program launch happens during the COVID pandemic. Have you seen any impact on market demand?
The Covid pandemic has restricted our marketing capabilities with the cancellation of many industry events and the limited ability to visit our clients to present them this fantastic aircraft. However, in 2021 with the vaccinations ramping up and the opening of borders, the customer interest has grown up and today we see a strong demand.
End of last year, during the Dubai Airshow, the most significant in-person aviation event in 2021, we announced the acquisition of our first Airbus ACJ TwoTwenty by Dubai-based FIVE Group. The aircraft will enter into service at the beginning of 2023 and will be operated on charter by Comlux Aviation.