LUXURY JET INTERIORS visits the EBACE show in Geneva, May 21-23
I think this show offers the international traveler the best in terms of logistics: The Convention Center is at the airport, a railway station is at the airport. The Geneva city center is one train station away from the convention center. But book your hotel room early. The conveniently located city center hotels fill up fast. There are luxurious hotels along the lake to host cocktail parties and meetings. Service is impeccable and to the standards that have given Switzerland its reputation.
In the exhibition Hall
Speaking of Switzerland, the highlight of the show is the unveiling of the Pilatus PC-24, a twin jet shown in its mock up stage. With no wings, it is a pale blue icicle of an aircraft. There is a registration on the mock engines: HB-VSA. I suspect the VSA stands for something but I can’t figure it out.
For the benefit of our readers I stand in line 45 minutes to be able to step on board. My head gets acquainted with the aircraft first. The doorframe to be more accurate. I am used to larger aircraft – that sounds snobbish, but true. I am out of practice. I appreciate the fact that the floor is flat and does not have a “well” running along the length as other aircraft of this class do. Pilatus boasts that the PC-24 is an aircraft in its own class: “Super Versatile Jet” or a jet that you can land in the bush, on “unimproved” runways. This is keeping with the PC-12’s rugged reputation.
The interior of the mock up is all white and minimalist, even the seats upholstered with white leather. My Pilatus host, confirms that it can be customized. I inquire about special mission configurations (probably because I spent the previous evening talking with ONU disaster relief specialists). The interior can accommodate 3 stretchers or 6-8 passengers, or in a commuter configuration, 10 seats. The aircraft will have a large baggage compartment that will be pressurized, loadable through a large cargo door. This can come in handy on shopping trips, large game hunting trips in the savannah or to transport one’s motorcycle. I read that the cockpit boasts the “Pilatus Advanced Cockpit Environment”. The aircraft will not be certified before 2017.
Competing for attention is Challenger’s updated, enhanced, CL-350 with Mr. John Travolta on the scene to speak of his experience in flying the aircraft, its performance.
From the interior standpoint, compared with the previous generation, this upgrade includes taller windows, new detailing, finishes, intuitive cabin management systems
On the tarmac
What catches the eye when descending to the static display in Geneva?
Paint schemes: An animal print for a flying zebra; silver with delicate calligraphy for Pilatus.
Absence of paint scheme: A “green” BBJ3.
The green BBJ3 (Boeing 737-900) is on display, the access is restricted at the time I come by. No matter, I know exactly what the interior looks like. As it is for a Middle Eastern owner its main compartment is a Majlis consisting of side facing seats looking inboard. A lovely golden sycamore warms up the taupe and dusty dark blue upholstery. Geometric patterns are carved into the thick pile of the carpet, repeating the cream, taupe blue color scheme.
Next stop, the ACJ 318, owned by a charter company TJS (Tyrolean Jet Services) with VIP interior equipped to carry 19 passengers.
The interior is neutral, as one would expect in a charter. It gives a feeling of spaciousness. It has one single forward galley, the private VIP section is AFT, with its dedicated lavatory. The middle part is sitting area, with another mid-cabin lavatory.
The cabin crew display their skills in hospitality, matched by the warm welcome extended by Martin Lener, the CEO of the company, who is on board.
I make an appointment to visit the Embraer Lineage. I am particularly interested in seeing their stone flooring as it is a very challenging material to install on an aircraft. I remind myself that highly polished surfaces often reflect things you would rather not see. I play for a while with the sidewall tables that come out automatically. I admire the shape of the window frames and the ordinance signs with integrated pin lights.
The weather has not been great and when I come out of the aircraft there are many things flying around that are not airplanes.