Transforming an A330 into a yacht-like luxury experience

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Editor’s note – Monthly Tickets is a CNN travel series that focuses on some of the most interesting topics in the travel world. In June, we are heading to the skies to see the latest developments in the interior of the aircraft, including those we are working to change the way we fly.

(CNN) – The fact that mega rich people go to great lengths to adapt their private jets to their lifestyle is not new.

And we’re not just talking about your average business jet. For decades, world leaders, royalties and billionaires have been fitting the types of commercial flying aircraft most of us have created by the choice of Airbus and Boeing.

But the options on the table are becoming increasingly wild.

Among the pioneers in the customization game is the German Lufthansa technique, which has recently developed a cabin concept that draws inspiration from another essential item for the rich – the superyacht.

According to the company, the Explorer wide-body VIP cabin concept caters to two wishes of plane owners: to take their plane anywhere at any time, and also serve as base camp when they travel – to enjoy sleeping space and comfort. Activities and tourism.

Like a superhero.

The Lufthansa technique team selected the Airbus A330 to illustrate the concept and released a series of rendering outlining the possibilities.

It includes basic necessities like bedroom, bathroom, bar and dining area. But the highlight is the arguably retractable patio – a floor in the forward fuselage area that can extend outwards when the aircraft is parked, sitting at a height of about four meters from the apron.

Coming in close seconds is a large-scale integrated projection system for virtual content. It extends from the window belt, reaching to the ceiling. Customers can choose their own lighting and image using a high-tech projecting system to create scenes like green forests and starry skies.

BRABUS Adventure Lounge

BRABUS Adventure Lounge: A place to store toys.

BRABUS Adventure Lounge: A place to store toys.

Coutesy Lufthansa Technik AG

The EXPLORER concept was first launched in November 2021, and the company recently unveiled a new addition to the aviation convention in Geneva in May – the BRABUS Adventure Lounge.

The Concept A330 places a lounge at the rear of the lower deck, overlooking the glass floor from the main deck.

Again, Supriyat, with its tender and garage for toys, was the inspiration. A selection of vehicles can be stored in the Adventure Lounge for use after landing.

The concept has a limited edition BRABUS 1300 R, made in collaboration with the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM.

Wyland Timme, head of VIP and special mission aircraft sales at Lufthansa Technique, told CNN Travel by email that the lounge flight was “a striking example of what an exploration aspect can be.”

“Luxury motorcycles are only housed in accessible lower decks,” he explains. “Once landed, they can be unloaded and give passengers the freedom to find the current destination in more detail.”

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Explaining why the Lufthansa technique chose the A330 for the EXPLORER concept, Tim says that this classic wide-body aircraft “provides ample space for a large number of novel cabin ideas and also a wide range to meet the special wishes of the EXPLORER target group.” ”

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However, he notes that other wide-body aircraft, such as the Boeing 777, may also have the Explorer-type interior installed.

Who is interested?

Tim says the target group for the EXPLORER concept is made up of “absolutely ‘classic’ super-rich individuals who travel and explore the world in the most luxurious and – most – the privacy, but there are also such high-class charter operators.” Travel (for example, offers 14-day round-the-world trips in the price range of $ 100,000 to $ 200,000 per week). ”

He says he also expects some owners to take a hybrid approach.

“For example, a wealthy person who owns an EXPLORER aircraft but uses it only for one month of the year. For the rest of the year, this person will also charter it to other operators / users.”

Artist rendering of terrace.

Artist rendering of terrace.

Coutesy Lufthansa Technik AG

So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, he says, adding that they have already inquired from customers who want to implement one or more of Explorer’s advanced gadgets in their current or future cabin completion projects.

He notes that the plane owner is unlikely to fully embrace the whole concept, but given that it is technically possible, the cabin can be built as shown. Instead, customers are more likely to adapt specific design elements to their own needs.

“The simple reason is that the VIP Completion business, especially for wide-body aircraft, is highly personalized to match the owner’s personal needs … We complete most of the aircraft for our customers is truly unique.”

How close is it to the superhero experience?

Given the superheroes being given much more freedom in terms of anchoring and mobility, we asked Tim how common it is for owners to stay overnight in their plane when they are on the ground at the airport.

He says various airports will allow him to park his aircraft and “live” there virtually for a certain period of time.

“Some of our customers are already using it,” he adds. The reasons are varied and relate to the fact that these customers often use the aircraft as their office space and thus receive their customers on site.

“Others prefer to stay overnight on the plane for safety reasons. In the case of the described EXPLORER use, however, the airport serves as a home base and starting point for further ventures / explorations.”

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