Comlux Group (Static AD_3) is highlighting the configurable luxury interiors created for the ACJ TwoTwenty, the newest member of the Airbus Corporate Jets family, at EBACE 2022. The Swiss VIP airliner services specialist has been tapped by Airbus Corporate Jets as the exclusive completions center for the first 15 TwoTwentys.
Comlux is now “in the construction and integration phase of the cabin” on the first of the new entry-level ACJs, inducted in January at its Comlux Completion facility in the U.S., said Group COO Arnaud Martin. This bizliner is slated to enter service early next year.
Introduced in October 2020 as the corporate derivative of the Airbus A220 (originally developed by Bombardier as the CSeries single-aisle airliner), the ACJ TwoTwenty offers a selection of preconfigured interior layout options in three different styles. Comlux and Airbus Corporate Jets chose the preconfigured, rather than typical VIP airliner custom interior design approach, to reduce completion time and cost.
The result, they said, is a bizliner with about twice the floor space of current ultra-long-range business jets but offered at a similar price point to those competitors. That value proposition will make the TwoTwenty “a game-changer, attracting a new population of buyers," according to Airbus Corporate Jets president Benoit Defforge.
Meanwhile, the project also marks what Martin terms a “digital transformation” of the Comlux completion division. Airbus provided 3D digital blueprints for the aircraft, enabling engineers and supply partners to design and build interior elements with more precision than if they had access to the actual aircraft. “We are really starting to see the benefits of implementing a full digital strategy for the company, from the design to the manufacturing and integration,” he said.
Nine of the first tranche of 15 TwoTwentys are under contract. Comlux purchased three, including the launch platform, and all have been resold, Martin said. The first TwoTwenty, purchased by Five—a Dubai-based hospitality and investment company—is now being outfitted at Comlux Completions in Indianapolis.
In addition to the installation of interior components, off-wing testing of cabin systems is underway, as is the production of common elements from outside suppliers for forthcoming completions. The next green TwoTwenty is scheduled for induction in October.
As the benefits of digitization are realized, Comlux expects to reduce completion time from 12 months on the first TwoTwenty to eight months by the fourth airframe.
The Swiss company also reports growing interest in Comlux Tech, its latest service offering that amalgamates the group’s expertise and experience in VIP aircraft transactions, completions, operations, refurbishment, MRO, and other competencies to meet unique customer needs.
Under Comlux Tech, customizable solutions for both Airbus and Boeing platforms are offered, as the company operates both manufacturers’ narrow- and widebody VIP airliners, Martin noted. Recent engagements have ranged from handling a pre-purchase inspection for an acquisition to crewing the post-completion validation flight for a Chinese customer’s recently redelivered jet.
Additionally, Comlux is expanding its footprint in Dubai, where it maintains an office, with a hangar to be built at Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. “The objective is to be closer to our customers,” Martin said. “The Middle East is a big region for us.”
The hangar, scheduled to open by the end of 2023, will accommodate up to two narrowbody ACJs or BBJs, and provide limited maintenance and refurbishment services for customers and its own floating fleet in the region.
When asked about the impacts of sanctions related to the war in Ukraine, Martin said the company had “very limited” business with Russian entities before the war, and “we’re not doing any business since.”
Comlux is displaying a client-owned ACJ318, which is currently listed for sale, at EBACE 2022. The static-display aircraft also provides an opportunity for prospective buyers to hear about the latest refurbishment options, charter offset revenue opportunities, or continuous airworthiness maintenance organization programs from Comlux Tech, the company noted.